Third Neurocypres meeting
27/28/29 May 2011
Seminario Vescoville, Via Arena 11-24129 Bergamo, Italy
The third annual meeting provided exciting novel structural data on ligand-gated ion channels, in particular the recent findings in the area of the bacterial LGICs, of which the full receptor structure was solved in 2008. Various examples of structural data, for instance on the Acetylcholine Binding Proteins (AChBPs), co-crystallized with various ligands, was presented. Moreover, new approaches to produce human subunits and receptors were discussed.
Another area of the Neurocypres program is on advancing new technologies for drug design and screening. New technologies were presented and promising results on small molecules targeting the different members of the LGIC family were shown. These included high-throughput oocyte expression technology fluorescence based assays and surface plasmon resonance. Also new approaches and chemistry to pull-down receptors and their associated proteins was discussed. The use of LGICs to probe neuronal function, as biosensors, has progressed to studies in neurons.
LGICs are implicated in disease. Novel data on Glycine receptors in hyperekplexia, and nicotinic receptors in epilepsy were discussed and novel findings on auto-immune antibodies in Myasthenia gravis and startle disease were presented.
The meeting was closed with the perspective that the approach of the Neurocypres consortium is taking off with novel structure and function of LGICs that resulted in substantial progress in the first two years in which deliverables were reached to a high degree.