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Molecular Kinesis in Cellular Function and Plasticity

Organized by Henri Tiedge, Floyd E. Bloom, and Dietmar Richter

December 7-9, 2000
Irvine CA

A colloquium sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences

Intracellular transport and localization of both proteins and mRNAs play important roles in the development and function of eukaryotic cells. However, while both mechanisms have been implicated in the establishment and maintenance of cellular polarity and plasticity, in particular in nerve cells, the two fields have developed with little interdisciplinary contact. It will therefore be a major objective of this colloquium to overcome this fragmentation by providing a formal joint forum for scientific exchange between these disciplines.

Localized mRNAs are presumed to be translated subject to local control. Mechanisms of such locally regulated translation are unknown. At the same time, regulation of eukaryotic translation initiation has emerged as a very active research area in cell biology. It will thus be the second major aim of this Colloquium to cross-stimulate interactions between the localized RNA field and the translational regulation field.

The Colloquium will be organized around two topics. The first one will bring together speakers from diverse disciplines to probe the significance of RNA localization in the context of cellular polarity and pattern formation. It is designed to start out with a discussion of relevant molecular motors, and to proceed via cytoskeletal dynamics to RNA processing and localization mechanisms. The session will conclude by examining modes of translation regulation.

The second topic will mainly focus on neuronal function and will explore the contributions of both RNA and protein targeting mechanisms to long-term synaptic plasticity. The session will first discuss relevant molecular targeting and anchoring mechanisms, as well as their activity-dependent regulation. Such mechanisms will then be examined in the context of dendritic form and function, synaptic plasticity, and potential relevance for neurological disorders.

Organizing Committee:

Henri Tiedge
State University of New York
Health Science Center at Brooklyn

Floyd E. Bloom
The Scripps Research Institute
Department of Neuropharmacology

Dietmar Richter
Institut fuer Zellbiochemie und Klinische Neurobiologie
University of Hamburg

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