Gordon Research Conferences
Meeting Details

Intermediate Filaments
Gordon Research Conference

Intermediate Filaments at the Crossroads Between Health and Disease


June 15-20, 2014


Mount Snow
West Dover, VT


John E. Eriksson

Vice Chair:
Karen M. Ridge

Meeting Description

The human genome contains at least 65 functional genes encoding intermediate filament (IF) proteins, placing them among the 100 largest gene families in humans. The remarkable discoveries of hundreds of mutations in IF genes, giving rise to a plethora of human diseases, have attracted the attention of basic scientists and physicians. The etiology and clinical manifestations of abnormal intermediate filament proteins are wide-ranging, including premature aging diseases such as progeria, cardiomyopathies, numerous forms of muscular dystrophy, as well as blistering diseases of the epidermis, amongst many others. In neurodegenerative diseases abnormal aggregates of IF are now being recognized as key factors, including 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.

Intermediate filaments are traditionally regarded as structural proteins. Recently, intermediate filaments have been linked to the integration of cytoskeletal, signaling, and transcriptional processes and to the regulation of metabolism, survival, differentiation, development, and immunity. These recently established interactions provide a likely explanation for the broad range of diseases and phenotypes that stem from intermediate filament mutations. 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 goal of this conference is to focus on the dramatic paradigm shift occurring in the intermediate filament field and to discuss the broad ramifications of this paradigm shift, both in terms of basic research and many aspects of human health.

The GRC on Intermediate Filaments brings together individuals that would not otherwise gather in a similarly intimate scientific forum. The 2014 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.

Some of the new features of the conference are especially student-friendly, designed to assist the learning experience. There will be a Linked-In Forum for pre- and post-conference discussions on the individual topics of the meeting. The meeting also features a separate web page billboard containing timely information. The individual speakers have assembled relevant pre-conference reading, formed by a selection of historical, overview, and timely research articles, giving relevant background information when listening to the actual talks. The selected articles are enjoyable and interesting material for journal clubs during the forthcoming weeks before the meeting. The Linked-In forum will have a number of moderators who will discuss timely topics related to the different disease and research aspects that come across in the pre-conference reading.

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.


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 pmRepurposing Intermediate Filaments - Interplay Between Structure, Signaling, Transcription, and Chromatin Organization
Discussion Leaders: John Eriksson (Åbo Akademi University, Finland) and Fang Cheng (Åbo Akademi University, Finland)
7:40 pm - 8:10 pm John Eriksson (Åbo Akademi University, Finland)
"Intermediate Filaments - Structural Proteins as Determinants of Cell Fate"
8:10 pm - 8:20 pm Discussion
8:20 pm - 8:45 pm Jean-Pierre Julien (Laval University, Canada)
"Intermediate Filaments as Targets of Neuronal Signaling"
8:45 pm - 8:55 pm Discussion
8:55 pm - 9:20 pm Pierre Coulombe (Johns Hopkins University, NIAMS)
"Intermediate Filaments: The Path Forward"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pm Discussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmCauses and Consequences in Neurodegeneration
Discussion Leaders: Ron Liem (Columbia University) and Mala Rao (Nathan Kline Institute)
9:00 am - 9:10 am Ron Liem (Columbia University)
"Intermediate Filament Dysfunction in Neurodegenerative Diseases"
9:10 am - 9:15 am Discussion
9:15 am - 9:40 am Milos Pekny (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
"GFAP, Vimentin and the Two Faces of Reactive Gliosis"
9:40 am - 9:50 am Discussion
9:50 am - 10:15 am Anthony Brown (Ohio State University)
"Severing, Annealing and Transport of Neurofilaments in Axons"
10:15 am - 10:25 am Discussion
10:25 am Coffee Break
11:05 am - 11:20 am Harish Pant (Laboratory of Neurochemistry, NINDS, Bethesda)
"Phosphorylation of Neuronal Intermediate Filaments Determines Neuronal Health"
11:20 am - 11:30 am Discussion
11:30 am - 11:45 am Joel Eyer (University of Angers, France)
"Peptides from Neurofilaments and Their Possible Clinical Use"
11:45 am - 11:55 am Discussion
11:55 am - 12:05 pm Kosta Glebov (University Hospital of Bonn)
"Role of GFAP in the Unconventional Secretory Pathway in Astrocytes, Implications for Alexander Disorder"
12:05 pm - 12:10 pm Discussion
12:10 pm - 12:25 pm Elly Hol (Netherlands Institute of Neuroscience, Netherlands)
"GFAP Upregulation and Functional Consequences for Astrocytes in Brain Disease"
12:25 pm - 12:30 pm 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 pmAt the Gates of Cell Stress and Disease
Discussion Leaders: Birgit Lane (A*Star, Singapore) and Peter Fuchs (University of Vienna)
7:30 pm - 7:40 pm Birgit Lane (A*Star, Singapore)
"Keratins and Skin Stress"
7:40 pm - 7:45 pm Discussion
7:45 pm - 8:00 pm Diana Toivola (Åbo Akademi University, Finland)
"Keratins: Guardians of the Gastrointestinal Track"
8:00 pm - 8:05 pm Discussion
8:05 pm - 8:20 pm Pavel Strand (University Medical Center, Ulm, Germany)
"Keratins: Markers and Modulators of Hepatobiliary System"
8:20 pm - 8:25 pm Discussion
8:25 pm - 8:40 pm Daniel Kaganovich (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
"Dynamic JUNQ Inclusion Bodies are Asymmetrically Inherited in Mammalian Cell Lines Through the Asymmetric Partitioning of Vimentin"
8:40 pm - 8:45 pm Discussion
8:45 pm - 8:55 pm Robert J. Bloch (University of Maryland)
"Keratins Are Integral Components of the Intermediate Filament Network in Skeletal Muscle"
8:55 pm - 9:00 pm Discussion
9:00 pm - 9:25 pm Bishr Omary (University of Michigan)
"Keratin Function and Disease Association: A Post-Translational Regulation Perspective"
9:25 pm - 9:30 pm Discussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
8:30 amGroup Photo
9:00 am - 12:30 pmHallmarks and Controllers of Tissues in Regeneration - Cellular Integration, Adhesion, and Migration
Discussion Leaders: Kathleen Green (Northwestern University) and Stephanie Portet (University of Manitoba)
9:00 am - 9:25 am Kathleen Green (Northwestern University)
"Desmosomes: At the Intersection Between Adhesion and Signaling"
9:25 am - 9:30 am Discussion
9:30 am - 9:45 am Selma Osmanagic-Myers(Max F. Perutz Laboratories, Austria)
"Intermediate Filament-Associated Cytolinker Plectin as an Organizer of Cells and Tissues"
9:45 am - 9:55 am Discussion
9:55 am - 10:05 am Byung Min Chung (Johns Hopkins University)
"hnRNP K Regulates Expression of Cxcl11 in a Keratin 17-Dependent Manner During Epithelial Cell Transformation and Invasion"
10:05 am - 10:10 am Discussion
10:10 am Coffee Break
10:40 am - 10:55 am Cecilia Sahlgren (Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands)
"Intermediate Filaments as Determinants of Notch Receptor Routing and Activity"
10:55 am - 11:05 am Discussion
11:05 am - 11:20 am Kayla Bayless (Texas A&M University)
"Role of Vimentin in Regulating Angiogenesis and Focal Adhesion Stability"
11:20 am - 11:30 am Discussion
11:30 am - 11:45 am Janice Walker (Thomas Jefferson University)
"A Central Role for Vimentin in Regulating Repair Function During Healing of the Lens Epithelium"
11:45 am - 11:55 am Discussion
11:55 am - 12:05 pm Katerina Wolf (Radboud)
"Control of Cancer Cell Invasion by Lamin-Mediated Nuclear Deformability"
12:05 pm - 12:10 pm Discussion
12:10 pm - 12:25 pm Paul Janmey (Cornell University)
"Intermediate Filaments Determine the Elastic Behavior of Cells"
12:25 pm - 12:30 pm 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 pmThreads Between Health and Cancer
Discussion Leaders: Thomas Magin (University of Leipzig, Germany) and Ryan Hobbs (Johns Hopkins University)
7:30 pm - 7:50 pm Thomas Magin (University of Leipzig, Germany)
"The Secrets of an Epithelial Keratin Code"
7:50 pm - 8:00 pm Discussion
8:00 pm - 8:10 pm Julia Misiorek (Abo Akademi University)
"Keratin 8-Deletion Leads to Colonic Inflammation Predisposing to Colorectal Cancer Enforced by the IL-22 / P-STAT3 Pathway"
8:10 pm - 8:15 pm Discussion
8:15 pm - 8:30 pm Sandrine Etienne-Manneville (Pasteur Institute, France)
"APC Binds Intermediate Filaments and Is Required for Their Reorganization During Cell Migration"
8:30 pm - 8:35 pm Discussion
8:35 pm - 8:50 pm Kevin Cheung (Johns Hopkins University)
"Collective Invasion in Breast Cancer Requires a Conserved Basal Epithelial Program"
8:50 pm - 8:55 pm Discussion
8:55 pm - 9:05 pmFang Cheng (Abo Akademi University)
"Vimentin Suppresses Inflammation and Cancer in the Murine Intestine"
9:05 pm - 9:10 pm Discussion
9:10 pm - 9:25 pm Karen Ridge (Northwestern University)
"Targeting Vimentin Reduces Experimental Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer"
9:25 pm - 9:30 pm Discussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmSensors and Mediators of Tissue Stiffness
Discussion Leaders: Ueli Aebi (University of Basel, Switzerland) and David Weitz (Harvard University)
9:00 am - 9:10 am Ueli Aebi (University of Basel, Switzerland)
"Introductory Remarks"
9:10 am - 9:25 am Ming Guo (Harvard University, USA)
"Probing the Role of Vimentin Intermediate Filaments in Cell Mechanics"
9:25 am - 9:30 am Discussion
9:30 am - 9:55 am Gaudenz Danuser (Harvard University, NIGMS)
"Roles of Vimentin in Cell Polarization and Motility"
9:55 am - 10:05 am Discussion
10:05 am - 10:15 am Celine Denais (Cornell University)
"The Role of Lamin A/C and Nuclear Mechanics in Breast Cancer Cell Migration"
10:15 am - 10:20 am Discussion
10:20 am Coffee Break
10:50 am - 11:15 am Jan Lammerding (Cornell University)
"The Nucleus Under Stress - Mechanosensing by Lamins, Emerin, and Nuclear Actin"
11:15 am - 11:25 am Discussion
11:25 am - 11:40 am Douglas Fudge (University of Guelph)
"Thread Skein Production in Hagfish Gland Thread Cells"
11:40 am - 11:45 am Discussion
11:45 am - 11:55 am Mikkel Jensen (Harvard University)
"Mechanics of Composite Actin-Vimentin Networks"
11:55 am - 12:00 pm Discussion
12:00 pm - 12:25 pm Dennis Discher (University of Pennsylvania)
"Nuclear Lamin-A Scales with Tissue Stiffness and Enhances Matrix-Directed Differentiation"
12:25 pm - 12:30 pm 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 pmConveyors, Organizers, and Switches in Signaling and Transcription
Discussion Leaders: Roy Quinlan (Durham University, UK) and Pedro Salas (University of Miami)
7:30 pm - 7:45 pm Roy Quinlan (Durham University, UK)
"Keepers of Survival and Growth Factor Signaling"
7:45 pm - 7:50 pm Discussion
7:50 pm - 8:05 pm Pascale Bomont (University of Montpellier, France)
"Gigaxonin, a Key Regulator of All Intermediate Filaments"
8:05 pm - 8:10 pm Discussion
8:10 pm - 8:25 pm Puneet Opal (Northwestern University)
"Deciphering Giant Axonal Neuropathy: Insights into the Turnover of Intermediate Filament Proteins"
8:25 pm - 8:30 pm Discussion
8:30 pm - 8:45 pm Annica Gad (Karolinska Institute, Sweden)
"Oncogenes Induce an HDAC6-Mediated Vimentin Filament Reorganization Linked to Cell Stiffness and Invasion"
8:45 pm - 8:50 pm Discussion
8:50 pm - 9:05 pm Masaki Inagaki (Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute, Japan)
"New Insights into Roles of Intermediate Filament (IF) Phosphorylation and Progeria Pathogenesis"
9:05 pm - 9:10 pm Discussion
9:10 pm - 9:25 pm Roland Foisner (Max F. Perutz Laboratories, Austria)
"Chromatin Regulation by Nuclear Lamins"
9:25 pm - 9:30 pm Discussion
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 pmCardiac and Muscular Control and Diseases
Discussion Leaders: Howard Worman (Columbia University) and Pekka Taimen (University of Turku)
9:00 am - 9:25 am Howard Worman (Columbia University)
"LMNA Cardiomyopathy: Cell Biology and Genetics Meet Clinical Medicine"
9:25 am - 9:35 am Discussion
9:35 am - 9:50 am Yassemi Capetanaki (Academy of Athens, Greece)
"Intermediate Filaments as Major Players in Heart Failure: Good and Bad"
9:50 am - 10:00 am Discussion
10:00 am Coffee Break
10:30 am - 10:45 am Catherine Coirault (Institut de Myologie, INSERM, France)
"Defective Mechanosensing Responses in Striated Muscle Laminopathies"
10:45 am - 10:55 am Discussion
10:55 am - 11:10 am Kan Cao (University of Maryland)
"Mechanisms Controlling the Smooth Muscle Cell Death in Progeria via Downregulation of Poly(ADP-Ribose) Polymerase 1"
11:10 am - 11:15 am Discussion
11:15 am - 11:30 am Gloria Conover (Texas A&M University)
"A Molecular Basis for Nebulin-Mediated Desminopathy"
11:30 am - 11:35 am Discussion
11:30 am - 11:50 amRudolf Leube (RWTH Aachen University, Germany)
"Desmoglein 2 and Cardiomyopathy"
11:50 am - 11:55 amDiscussion
11:55 am - 12:20 pmBrian Kennedy (Buck Institute for Research on Aging, NIA)
"Laminopathies and Aging Pathways - TOR and Sirtuins"
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 (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel) and Monika Zwerger (University of Zurich)
7:30 pm - 7:40 pm Yosef Gruenbaum (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel)
"The Crosstalk Between Lamin, Aging and Metabolism"
7:40 pm - 7:45 pm Discussion
7:45 pm - 8:00 pm Ohad Medalia (Zurich University, Switzerland)
"Structural Study of Lamins and the Nuclear Lamina"
8:00 pm - 8:05 pm Discussion
8:05 pm - 8:20 pm Yixian Zheng (Carnegie Institution, USA)
"The Role of Nuclear Lamina in Development and Homeostasis"
8:20 pm - 8:30 pm Discussion
8:30 pm - 8:45 pm Maria Eriksson (Karolinska Institute, Sweden)
"Functional Links Between Lamins and Aging"
8:45 pm - 8:55 pm Discussion
8:55 pm - 9:20 pm Robert Goldman (Northwestern University)
"Intermediate Filaments - The Big Picture"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pm Discussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 amDeparture

Funding for this conference was made possible (in part) by (1 R13AR66470-01) from the National Institute Of Arthritis And Musculoskeletal And Skin Diseases (NIAMS), and all co-funding support provided by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (NCATS/ORDR). 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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