Gordon Research Conferences
Meeting Details

Intermediate Filaments
Gordon Research Conference

Breaking Barriers in Intermediate Filament Biology: From Structure to Mechanisms and Targets in Human Diseases


June 12-17, 2016


Stoweflake Conference Center
Stowe, VT


Karen M. Ridge

Vice Chair:
Milos Pekny

Meeting Description

Intermediate filaments (IFs) are composed of one or more members of a large family of mainly cytoskeletal proteins encoded by over 70 genes. These proteins, which typically form 10-nm filaments, are classified into five major types based on their structure and sequence homology. The first four types (I–IV) are cytoplasmic, whereas type V IFs reside in the nucleus. Intermediate filaments are traditionally regarded as major structural proteins of the cell, comprising anywhere from 0.3 to 85% of total cell protein. Recently, intermediate filaments have been linked to the integration of cytoskeletal signaling, and transcriptional processes as well as to the regulation of metabolism, survival, differentiation, development, and immunity. Their significance in physiology and pathophysiology is becoming widely recognized, as more and more human diseases are linked to mutations in cytoskeletal IF gene. These recently established interactions provide a likely explanation for the broad range of diseases and phenotypes that stem from intermediate filament mutations, including premature aging diseases such as progeria, cardiomyopathies, neurodegenerative disorders, numerous forms of muscular dystrophy, as well as blistering diseases of the epidermis, amongst many others. In other diseases abnormal aggregates of IF are now being recognized as factors in motor neuron diseases, Alzheimer's disease and giant axonal neuropathy. Furthermore, intermediate filament proteins can serve as markers of the tissue origin of poorly differentiated tumors, as tumor markers in serum, and as a means of detecting micrometastases.

The goal of this conference will be to focus the presentations and general discussions of regarding changes in our rapidly evolving field and to discuss the broad ramifications of these changes as it relates to human health. The obtained knowledge is consequential for the basic understanding of signal integration in cells and tissues and for the numerous pathological conditions that intermediate filaments are involved in.

The conference sessions will include the following: Roles in Cellular Processes Related to Mechanotransduction, IFs in Development of Cancer, Roles in Cellular Organization, Trafficking, and Organelle Transport, IFs in Signaling and transcriptional control, IFs in Cardiac, Muscular Disorders, and in neuronal degeneration, Functions in Adhesion, Migration and Differentiation, IFs in Protein Misfolding and Stress Response, IFs in Aging and Premature Aging Diseases.

The GRC on intermediate filaments brings together individuals that would not otherwise gather in a similarly intimate scientific forum. The 2016 Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Intermediate Filaments, together with the pre-meeting Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) will bring together leaders in the field, junior researchers, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to discuss their most recent findings and provide a better understanding of the normal functions of IF and will shed light on how their defective functions contribute to human disease. All applicants are invited to present posters describing their latest research and a number of platform presentations will be chosen from the submitted abstracts in order to ensure inclusion of the latest breakthroughs during the formal sessions.

Related Meeting

This GRC was held in conjunction with the "Intermediate Filaments" Gordon Research Seminar (GRS). Refer to the associated GRS program page for more information.


Final Meeting Program

2:00 pm - 9:00 pmArrival and Check-in
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmWelcome / Introductory Comments by GRC Site Staff
7:40 pm - 9:30 pmNew Insights into Intermediate Filaments as Integral Regulators in Health and Disease
Discussion Leaders: Karen Ridge (Northwestern University, USA) and Iris Lähdeniemi (Åbo Akademi University, Finland)
7:40 pm - 7:50 pmOpening Remarks
7:50 pm - 8:10 pmYosef Gruenbaum (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel)
"The Crosstalk Between Lamin, Aging and Metabolism"
8:10 pm - 8:20 pmDiscussion
8:20 pm - 8:45 pmRobert Goldman (Northwestern University, USA)
"Intermediate Filaments Play a Pivotal Role in Regulating Cell Architecture and Function"
8:45 pm - 8:55 pmDiscussion
8:55 pm - 9:20 pmBishr Omary (University of Michigan, USA)
"Intermediate Filaments: The Path Forward"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
8:30 amGroup Photo
9:00 am - 12:30 pmCauses and Consequences in Neurodegeneration and CNS Repair
Discussion Leaders: Harish Pant (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH, USA) and Mala Rao (Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, USA)
9:00 am - 9:20 amMilos Pekny (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
"Astrocyte Intermediate Filament Proteins and CNS Regeneration"
9:20 am - 9:30 amDiscussion
9:30 am - 9:45 amThomas Shea (University of Massachusetts, USA)
"Novel Aspects of Phosphorylation in Regulation of Neurofilament Function"
9:45 am - 9:55 amDiscussion
9:55 am - 10:25 amCoffee Break
10:25 am - 10:40 amJin-Moo Lee (Washington University School of Medicine, USA)
"Intermediate Filaments in Alzheimer's Disease Astrocyte-Plaque Interactions"
10:40 am - 10:50 amDiscussion
10:50 am - 11:05 amElly Hol (Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, UMC Utrecht, The Netherlands)
"GFAP and Vimentin Deficiency Alters Gene Expression in Astrocytes"
11:05 am - 11:15 amDiscussion
11:15 am - 11:25 amBen Szaro (University at Albany, State University of New York, USA)
"Specific Introns Mediate Post-Transcriptional Control of Neurofilament Reporter Gene Expression In Vivo"
11:25 am - 11:35 amDiscussion
11:35 am - 11:50 amAlbee Messing (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA)
"New Approaches to the Study of GFAP and Alexander Disease"
11:50 am - 12:00 pmDiscussion
12:00 pm - 12:20 pmRonald Liem (Columbia University, USA)
"Mechanisms that Cause Neurofilaments to Accumulate During Development and Disease"
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
3:00 pm - 4:00 pmPower Hour
The GRC Power Hour is an optional informal gathering open to all meeting participants. It is designed to help address the challenges women face in science and support the professional growth of women in our communities by providing an open forum for discussion and mentoring.
Organizer: Natasha Snider (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA)
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmIntersection of Cell Stress and Disease
Discussion Leaders: Birgit Lane (Institute of Medical Biology, A*STAR, Singapore) and Lori Wallrath (University of Iowa, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmIntroduction by Discussion Leader
7:40 pm - 7:55 pmDolores Perez-Sala (Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Spain)
"Oxidative Stress and Interaction with Zinc Expose Hidden Features of Intermediate Filaments"
7:55 pm - 8:05 pmDiscussion
8:05 pm - 8:15 pmPekka Taimen (University of Turku, Finland)
"Deleterious Assembly of Mutant pS143P Lamin A/C Causes ER Stress in Familial Dilated Cardiomyopathy"
8:15 pm - 8:20 pmDiscussion
8:20 pm - 8:35 pmPedro Salas (University of Miami, USA)
"Epithelial Control of Innate Immunity Downstream of Krt8: Can We Get to Mechanistic Approaches?"
8:35 pm - 8:45 pmDiscussion
8:45 pm - 9:00 pmVladimir Gelfand (Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, USA)
"Vimentin Filament Precursors Exchange Subunits in an ATP-Dependent Manner"
9:00 pm - 9:05 pmDiscussion
9:05 pm - 9:20 pmRyan Hobbs (Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA)
"Forms and Functions of Keratins in the Nucleus"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmCellular Organization, Adhesion, and Migration
Discussion Leaders: Jan Lammerding (Cornell University, USA) and Justin Chung (The Catholic University of America, USA)
9:00 am - 9:10 amIntroduction by Discussion Leader
9:10 am - 9:25 amKathleen Green (Northwestern University, USA)
"Desmosome Regulation and Signaling in Disease"
9:25 am - 9:35 amDiscussion
9:35 am - 9:45 amIris Lähdeniemi (Åbo Akademi University, Finland)
"Keratins Modulate the Hypoxic Response in Colonic Epithelial Cells"
9:45 am - 9:50 amDiscussion
9:50 am - 10:05 amRudolf Leube (RWTH Aachen University, Germany)
"Regulation of Intermediate Filament Network Organization in Epithelial Cells"
10:05 am - 10:15 amDiscussion
10:15 am - 10:45 amCoffee Break
10:45 am - 11:00 amFranziska Lautenschlager (Saarland University, Germany)
"Vimentin in Ameoboid Migration"
11:00 am - 11:10 amDiscussion
11:10 am - 11:25 amCecilia Sahlgren (Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands / Åbo Akademi University, Finland)
"Intermediate Filaments as Determinants of Notch Receptor Routing and Activity"
11:25 am - 11:35 amDiscussion
11:35 am - 11:45 amStephanie Portet (University of Manitoba, Canada)
"Transport of Intermediate Filaments in Cells: Mathematical Modeling Approach"
11:45 am - 11:50 amDiscussion
11:50 am - 12:05 pmJanice Walker (Thomas Jefferson University, USA)
"Cells Activated for Wound Repair Have the Potential to Direct Collective Invasion of an Epithelium"
12:05 pm - 12:15 pmDiscussion
12:15 pm - 12:30 pmPoster Previews
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmCardiac and Muscular Control and Diseases
Discussion Leaders: Pekka Taimen (University of Turku, Finland) and Ryan Hobbs (Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:45 pmGisele Bonne (Université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie / Inserm, France)
"New Insights in the Pathophysiology of Striated Muscle Laminopathies"
7:45 pm - 7:55 pmDiscussion
7:55 pm - 8:10 pmHoward Worman (Columbia University, USA)
"Lamins and Associated Proteins in Striated Muscle Disease"
8:10 pm - 8:20 pmDiscussion
8:20 pm - 8:35 pmGiulio Agnetti (Johns Hopkins University, USA)
"Post-Translationally Modified Desmin:Aa Likely Seed for the Alzheimer's of the Heart?"
8:35 pm - 8:40 pmDiscussion
8:40 pm - 8:55 pmLori Wallrath (University of Iowa, USA)
"Lamin-Associated Muscular Dystrophy: Myofibers Under Reductive Stress"
8:55 pm - 9:05 pmDiscussion
9:05 pm - 9:20 pmYassemi Capetanaki (Biomedical Research Foundation, Academy of Athens, Greece)
"Importance of Intermediate Filaments in Mitochondrial Homeostasis and Cardioprotection"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmRegulating the Cell Microenvironment and Mechanotransduction
Discussion Leaders: Paul Janmey (University of Pennsylvania, USA) and Qi Wen (Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA)
9:00 am - 9:10 amIntroduction by Discussion Leader
9:10 am - 9:30 amGaudenz Danuser (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, USA)
"Organization of Actin and Microtubule Dynamics by Vimentin"
9:30 am - 9:40 amDiscussion
9:40 am - 9:55 amGerhard Wiche (Max F. Perutz Laboratories, University of Vienna, Austria)
"Keeping Up the Tension with Plectin and Intermediate Filaments"
9:55 am - 10:05 amDiscussion
10:05 am - 10:35 amCoffee Break
10:35 am - 10:50 amFrederik Fleissner (Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Germany)
"Microspectroscopy of Intermediate Filament Secondary Structure Under Load"
10:50 am - 11:00 amDiscussion
11:00 am - 11:15 amDennis Discher (University of Pennsylvania, USA)
"Invasion-Mutation: Constricted Cell Migration Causes Nuclear Lamina Damage, DNA Breaks, Repair Factor Squeeze-Out, and Genomic Variation"
11:15 am - 11:25 amDiscussion
11:25 am - 11:35 amNoam Zuela (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel)
"Mechanical Model for Human Laminopathies Using the L535P EDMD Lamin Mutation"
11:35 am - 11:40 amDiscussion
11:40 am - 11:55 amLiqun Wang (Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, USA)
"Mechanical Alterations Induce Toxicity in Alexander Disease via Lamin and YAP"
11:55 am - 12:05 pmDiscussion
12:05 pm - 12:20 pmRoy Beck-Barkai (Tel-Aviv University, Israel)
"Order and Disorder in Intermediate Filament Proteins"
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmAging and Premature Aging Diseases
Discussion Leaders: Yosef Gruenbaum (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel) and Stephen Adam (Northwestern University, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:50 pmRoland Foisner (Medical University of Vienna, Austria)
"The Role of Nucleoplasmic Lamins and LAP2α in Progeria Premature Aging Disease"
7:50 pm - 8:00 pmDiscussion
8:00 pm - 8:15 pmQuasar Padiath (University of Pittsburgh, USA)
"Elucidating Mechanisms of Lamin B1 Mediated Demyelination in Autosomal Dominant Leukodystrophy (ADLD)"
8:15 pm - 8:20 pmDiscussion
8:20 pm - 8:40 pmJoseph Tran (Carnegie Institution for Science, USA)
"Lamin-B and Age-Associated De-Repression of Retrotransponsons"
8:40 pm - 8:50 pmDiscussion
8:50 pm - 9:00 pmAgustin Sola Carvajal (Karolinska Institute, Sweden)
"Analyzing the Symmetry of Adult Stem Cell Division in Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome"
9:00 pm - 9:05 pmDiscussion
9:05 pm - 9:20 pmOhad Medalia (University of Zurich, Switzerland)
"The Structural Analysis of Lamins in Somatic Cells"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
8:30 am - 9:00 amBusiness Meeting
Nominations for the Next Vice Chair; Fill in Conference Evaluation Forms; Discuss Future Site and Scheduling Preferences; Election of the Next Vice Chair
9:00 am - 12:30 pmComplexity, Integrations, and Regulation of Signaling Networks
Discussion Leaders: Roy Quinlan (Durham University, United Kingdom) and Milind Vaidya (Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer (ACTREC), Tata Memorial Centre (TMC), India)
9:00 am - 9:10 amIntroduction by Discussion Leader
9:10 am - 9:30 amPierre Coulombe (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA)
"Interplay Between Keratin and Redox Balance in Skin Keratinocytes"
9:30 am - 9:40 amDiscussion
9:40 am - 9:55 amBoopathi Ettickan (Thomas Jefferson University, USA)
"Mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) Regulates Mechanical Stretch Induced Expression of Vimentin in Bladder Smooth Muscle in Aging Male Population"
9:55 am - 10:05 amDiscussion
10:05 am - 10:35 amCoffee Break
10:35 am - 10:50 amNatasha Snider (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA)
"Direct and Indirect Approaches for Pharmacological Targeting of Intermediate Filaments"
10:50 am - 11:00 amDiscussion
11:00 am - 11:15 amDaniel Kaganovich (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel)
"Imperfect Asymmetry: The Mechanism Governing Asymmetric Partitioning of Damaged Cellular Components During Mitosis"
11:15 am - 11:25 amDiscussion
11:25 am - 11:40 amPavel Strnad (University Hospital Aachen, Germany)
"Keratins - Markers and Modulators of Hepatobiliary System"
11:40 am - 11:50 amDiscussion
11:50 am - 12:10 pmJohn Eriksson (Abo Akademi University, Finland)
"IFs as Determinants of Cell Fate"
12:10 pm - 12:20 pmDiscussion
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmGeneral Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmMetabolic Regulation and Mitochondria
Discussion Leaders: Normand Marceau (Laval University, Canada) and Monique Cadrin (Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Canada)
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmIntroduction by Discussion Leader
7:40 pm - 8:00 pmThomas Magin (Leipzig University, Germany)
"Scaffolding the Powerhouse – Implications of a Keratin-Mitochondrial Connection"
8:00 pm - 8:10 pmDiscussion
8:10 pm - 8:25 pmAlexander Minin (Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia)
"Mitochondrial Membrane Potential Is Regulated by Vimentin Intermediate Filaments"
8:25 pm - 8:35 pmDiscussion
8:35 pm - 8:50 pmKan Cao (University of Maryland, USA)
"Methylene Blue Alleviates Nuclear and Mitochondrial Abnormalities in Progeria"
8:50 pm - 9:00 pmDiscussion
9:00 pm - 9:20 pmDiana Toivola (Abo Akademi University, Finland)
"Keratins in β-Cells and Insulin Secretion"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 amDeparture

Funding for this conference was made possible (in part) by (1 R13 AR069967-01) from the National Institute Of Arthritis And Musculoskeletal And Skin Diseases (NIAMS) and all co-funding support provided by the National Eye Institute (NEI) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention by trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
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