Phase Transitions in Biology and Disease

2 - 3 May 2017, Leuven, Belgium
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Phase Transitions in Biology and Disease

In the past few years the concept of protein phase transitions has taken the field of cell biology and protein biochemistry by storm. The initial discoveries were met with great enthusiasm as they provide the rationale for the formation of membrane-less organelles, such as stress granules, processing bodies and RNP bodies, in biology and human disease. By studying the biophysics of the involved proteins, it was shown that this process could be modeled by liquid-liquid demixing, also making the connection of such liquid compartments to characteristic protein aggregations observed in numerous neurodegenerative diseases. Whereas this is perhaps one of the biggest breakthroughs in these fields in recent years, key questions remain to be addressed towards the goal of fully understanding their functional properties in the cell and targeting them in proteinopathies.

This meeting gathers leading figures from the phase transition and protein aggregation field, whose work has spearheaded the recent developments. Where have we come from? Where are we now? And moreover, which direction the field is heading? Come join us on this exciting meeting!

Top speakers: 

Simon Alberti

Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, DE

Clifford Brangwynne

Princeton University, US

Tanja Mittag

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Memphis, US

Rohit Pappu

Washington University, US

Roy Parker

University of Colorado, US

Steven McKnight

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, US

Nicolas Lux Fawzi

Brown University, US

Monika Fuxreiter

University of Debrecen, HU

James Shorter

University of Pennsylvania, US

Magdalini Polymenidou

University of Zurich, CH

Peter Tompa

VIB Structural Biology Research Center, BE

Benjamin Wolozin

Boston University, US

Joost Schymkowitz

VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research, BE

Frederic Rousseau

VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research, BE

Paul Taylor

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, US

Day 1 - 02 May 2017

Tuesday, 2 May, 2017
11:00 - 14:00
Registration - Lunch
14:00 - 18:30
Plenary session 1 day 1
13:30 - 13:45
Welcoming Remarks
Wim Robberecht
Vice rector Biomedical Sciences KU Leuven; Head KU Leuven Lab of Neurobiology, BE
13:45 - 14:15
Structural disorder promotes phase separation of C9orf72 dipeptide repeats in ALS
Peter Tompa
VIB Structural Biology Research Center, BE
14:15 - 14:45
Disturbed phase transitions in neurological diseases
Paul Taylor
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, US
14:45 - 15:15
Visualizing structural details of disordered domain phase separation associated with ALS and cancers
Nicolas Lux Fawzi
Brown University, US
15:15 - 15:45
Phase separation of a cancer-associated ubiquitin ligase
Tanja Mittag
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Memphis, US
15:45 - 16:15
Coffee break
16:15 - 16:30
Selected Abstract: Quantitative integrative FRET studies unravel the dynamic structure and the oligomerization of the large GTPase hGBP1 during phase transitions
Claus Seidel
Heinrich Heine University, DE
16:30 - 16:45
Selected Abstract: Liquid-liquid phase separation of tau
Susanne Wegmann
Harvard Medical School, US
16:45 - 17:15
above
Contributions of RNA Binding Proteins to tau biology and tauopathies
Benjamin Wolozin
Boston University, US
17:15 - 17:45
Dynamic oligomerization of TDP-43 in health and disease
Magdalini Polymenidou
University of Zurich, CH
17:45 - 18:30
Moving through intracellular phase space
Clifford Brangwynne
Princeton University, US
18:30 - 19:30
Reception

Organizing Committee:

Joost Schymkowitz, Group leader, VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research, BE
Frederic Rousseau, Group leader, VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research, BE
Ludo Van Den Bosch, Group leader, VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research, BE
Peter Tompa, Group leader, VIB-VUB Center for Structural Biology, VUB
Elke Bogaert, Post-doctoral Scientist, VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research, BE
Steven Boeynaems, PhD Student, VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research, BE
Lien Houbrechts, Lab coordinator, VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research, BE

Day 2 - 03 May 2017

Wednesday, 3 May, 2017
09:00 - 17:15
Plenary session 1 day 2
09:00 - 09:30
RNP Granules in Health and Disease
Roy Parker
University of Colorado, US
09:30 - 10:00
RNP granules: how they form, age, and cause disease
Simon Alberti
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, DE
10:00 - 10:30
A solid state conceptualization of information transfer from gene to message to protein
Steven McKnight
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, US
10:30 - 11:00
Coffee break
11:00 - 11:15
Selected Abstract: Amyloid-like Assembly of a Cellular Compartment
Elvan Boke
Centre for Genomic Regulations, ES
11:15 - 11:30
Selected Abstract: Reduction of ataxin 2 extends lifespan and rescues ALS-associated pathology in TDP-43 mice
Lindsay Becker
Stanford University, US
11:30 - 11:45
Selected Abstract: Phase transition and aggregation of FUS are promoted by loss of arginine methylation and impaired binding to the nuclear import receptor Transportin
Saskia Hutten
Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, DE
11:45 - 12:00
Selected Abstract: Increase in protein abundance causes ribonucleoprotein granule formation
Gian Gaetano Tartaglia
Centre for Genomic Regulations, ES
12:00 - 14:00
Lunch + Poster session
14:00 - 17:15
Plenary session 2 day 2
14:00 - 14:30
Synthetic Functional Amyloids
Frederic Rousseau
VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research, BE
14:30 - 15:00
Fuzziness in higher-order assemblies and its role in biological phase transitions
Monika Fuxreiter
University of Debrecen, HU
15:00 - 15:15
Selected Abstract: Structures reveal kinked beta-sheet interaction motifs between low-complexity regions distinguish dynamic membraneless organelles from amyloid fibrils
Michael Hughes
UCLA, US
15:15 - 15:30
Selected Abstract: Prion replication in the mammalian cytosol: Functional regions within a prion domain that drive induction, propagation and inheritance
Ina Vorberg
DZNE, DE
15:30 - 16:00
Coffee break
16:00 - 16:30
Reversing aberrant phase transitions connected to ALS
James Shorter
University of Pennsylvania, US
16:30 - 17:15
Uncovering sequence-encoded phase diagrams of intrinsically disordered proteins
Rohit Pappu
Washington University, US

Organizing Committee:

Joost Schymkowitz, Group leader, VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research, BE
Frederic Rousseau, Group leader, VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research, BE
Ludo Van Den Bosch, Group leader, VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research, BE
Peter Tompa, Group leader, VIB-VUB Center for Structural Biology, VUB
Elke Bogaert, Post-doctoral Scientist, VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research, BE
Steven Boeynaems, PhD Student, VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research, BE
Lien Houbrechts, Lab coordinator, VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research, BE

Hashtag: 
#PTBD17