KLF and Sp Transcription Factors in Disease and Regenerative Medicine
Bethesda, MD – This meeting will focus on the genetics, biochemistry, and biology of Krüppel-like factors (KLFs) as well as their structurally and functionally related, Specificity Proteins (Sps) along with their impact on human diseases. Significant efforts will be given to discussing the application of KLF/SP-based tools to gene editing and cell-based therapies for regenerative medicine (iPS cells). KLFs/SP proteins constitute a single family of zinc finger-containing transcription factors that exhibit homology to the Drosophila gap gene product, Krüppel. There are at least 18 KLFs and 9 Sp proteins, with a multitude of important functions including regulation of proliferation, differentiation, inflammation/immunity, metabolism, and carcinogenesis. Dysregulation of KLF/SP-mediated pathways contributes to pathological states such as obesity, cancer, and inflammatory conditions. Recent studies indicate that many of these transcription factors have the ability to reprogram somatic cells to inducible pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, and to maintain the pluripotent state of embryonic stem cells; interestingly, several members can substitute for one another in establishing and/or maintaining pluripotency. This transformational discovery has elicited the attention of investigators and medical practitioners from the field of Regenerative Medicine. Molecular insights derived from zinc finger-DNA interactions, which have been derived and most thoroughly validated from work on Sp/KLF proteins has given rise to a new area of research that is growing exponentially, namely gene-editing by artificial KLF-like zinc finger proteins that allow for in vivo gene mutation, mutation repair, deletions, insertion and other type of engineering for both research and medical practice. Thus, the scope and the impact of our 2016 meeting, we will have investigators that discuss the use of Zinc finger nucleases, TALENS, and CAS/CRISPR systems. Lastly, many additional and novel roles for various Sp/KLFs in normal and disease states are only now being fully studied and explored. We expect that through the interaction fostered in this meeting will fuel subsequent collaborations, lead to the design of new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for broad array diseases. This is truly and international meeting which counts with a confirmed list of speakers from USA, Canada, Europe, and Asia. A large number of oral presentations will be selected from the abstracts, and the selected talks, poster presentations, and recreational activities will provide students and postdoctoral fellows opportunities to exchange ideas and formulate new collaborations.
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