G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) constitute the largest family of integral membrane receptors within the human genome that sense extracellular signals such as ions, hormones, neurotransmitters, and sensory stimuli and transduce the signal to intracellular macromolecules such as heterotrimeric guanosine triphosphate-binding proteins (G proteins), kinases, and arrestins which regulating distinct cellular downstream pathways leading to a physiological response. As GPCRs play a central role in intracellular downstream signaling and physiological responses, their malfunction is consequently causing various diseases like obesity, cancer, cardiac dysfunction, inflammation, and disorders in the central nervous system. Yet in 2018, less than 134 GPCRs are targeted by approximately 35% of the approved pharmaceuticals, which makes them the largest family of approved drug targeted proteins with likely even more potential targets those roles in therapeutics remains to be revealed.
GPCR-mediated signal transduction begins when an activating ligand binds and stabilizes an active conformation of the receptor that can couple to G protein. This interaction activates the G protein and initiates a cell-signaling cascade based on the interaction of G protein subunits with multiple different cellular proteins. Active receptors are also phosphorylated by specific kinases, which facilitates the binding of the protein arrestin. Arrestin binding blocks further G protein-mediated signaling and, due to the prolific scaffolding ability of arrestin, mediates receptor internalization into endosomes and distinct arrestin-dependent signal transduction. Intriguingly, some ligands modulate the interaction of receptors with intracellular binding partners, such that G protein-mediated or arrestin-mediated signaling is favored over the other pathway. Recent years have witnessed an explosion in the number of high-resolution molecular structures of different GPCRs in ligand-free and ligand-bound forms, and in complex with intracellular binding partners. These structures have already helped to elucidate the molecular details of the GPCR activation mechanism. Yet despite these advances, fundamental questions regarding GPCR function and signaling remain unanswered.
Tackling these questions will require an interdisciplinary approach that involves structural, computational, cell and systems biologists, as well as physiologists and clinicians. Here, we propose a scientific meeting that brings together GPCR researchers from these diverse fields and at different stages in their scientific careers. Although there are currently many international GPCR conferences, very few are focused on building scientific and social networks between established researchers and early-career scientists. In 2018, we successfully kicked-off this meeting idea (ECSF-2018) with a wide participation of national and international scientists from all backgrounds and experiences. We expect the second round to be a successful continuation and hope to encourage cross-discipline cooperation and significantly advance future research. The thematic focus of the meeting is understanding how GPCRs and their associated signal transduction cascades function at the molecular, cellular and physiological levels. The goal of the meeting is to bridge different fields of expertise and different levels of experience, thereby fostering the next generation of GPCR researchers.
The meeting is composed of various events, including traditional lectures and poster presentations as well as novel elements aimed at fostering networking and engaging early-career scientists.
The detailed program will follow soon!
To plan your travel accoringly, the meeting will start after 1pm on the 3rd and end after 3pm on the 6th of May.
This meeting has a strong focus on interactivity and constant learning, despite any career level. We, therefore, presuppose that all participants actively contribute to the meeting, either by a talk or by a poster presentation. Early-stage project concepts and results are very welcome!
Pre-registration will open on Monday, February 10th at 3pm CET!
All prior submitted registrations will be ignored.
All poster/talk abstract should be sended as soon as possible but the latest on March 31st to firstname.lastname@example.org. Only the successful submission of the abstract guarantees the participation. The abstract can be changed until March 31st. Filler abstracts will not be accepted!
Donwload the abstract template HERE.
We strongly encourage early career scientists to register. At the current state, we can not offer travel grants. No registration fee is required. You will get a final confirmation about your sucessfully registration after submitting your poster/talk abstract. We can only accept up to 100 people and will look for gender, country and career status balance.
Monday to Wednesday: CharitéCrossOver (CCO) at Virchowweg 6 (image below)
Suggested hotels and hostels close to the conference venue
The meeting program is supported by the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Graduiertenkolleg GRK1910 "Medical Chemistry of Selective GPCR Ligands", Stiftung Charité, Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), and Collaborative Research Centers CRC 1078 "Protonation Dynamics in Protein Function" and CRC 1423 "Structural Dynamics of GPCR Activation and Signal Transduction".