Gordon Research Conference on Muscle: Excitation-Contraction Coupling This is a proposal for partial support of the Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Excitation-Contraction Coupling (ECC) in skeletal muscle, the only national or international meeting with this specific focus. The 2012 conference will be held in Europe at the GRC site in Les Diablerets, Switzerland. Calcium signaling figures importantly in the adaptive responses of healthy muscle to exercise and age mutations in a number central players in the ECC process cause muscle diseases such as: 1. hypokalemic periodic paralysis (skeletal L-type Ca2+ channel (DHPR)) 2. malignant hyperthermia (RyR1, skeletal DHPR) 3. central core disease, multi-mini core disease and centro-nuclear myopathy (RyR1). 4. Brody's disease (SERCA1). 5. Timothy syndrome (Cardiac DHPR). and 5. catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (RyR2 and Calsequestrin 2). Key to understanding the mechanisms causing these diseases is understanding the affected protein's normal function. In addition to muscle diseases that result from mutations to the proteins that participate in ECC, there are many diseases that result from mutations to proteins that are not directly involved in this process. However, because a disturbance in Ca2+ signaling is part of a pathological cascade that causes muscle damage there is substantial benefit to having these diseases discussed in the ECC Gordon conference. in response to exercise and aging and both are important to human health. In the time since the 2009 ECC Gordon conference, there has been important progress in our understanding of excitation-contraction coupling and other types of calcium signaling in muscle, as well as of the role of calcium in muscle disease, adaptation and repair. It is this progress that provides the basis for our planning of the 2012 Gordon ECC Gordon Conference. We feel confident that the meeting we have planned will stimulate participants to pursue new approaches and research directions in the fields of muscle ECC, calcium signaling and disease.
The goals of the 2012 Muscle: Excitation Contraction Coupling Gordon Research Conference are to discuss and evaluate critically new results related to the basic mechanisms that allow muscle to contract, and how these are affected by fatigue, age and mutations that cause muscle disease. This triennial conference is the only conference devoted to this very important area of medically relevant research and will allow participants who do basic, translational and clinical research to meet and discuss new ways to solve important problems affecting everyone's everyday life.