Public Release: 

The biology of calpains in health and disease

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Bethesda, MD - This SRC brings together calpain researchers dedicated to elucidating the molecular, cellular and physiological functions of these proteases. Dysregulated calpain activity plays important roles in many diseases, including diabetes, muscular dystrophy, cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, neurodegeneration and cancer. Calpains are a family of intracellular thiol-proteases with diverse biological functions associated with their ability to cleave a wide variety of proteins which regulate cellular processes including mitogenesis, migration, invasion, differentiation, membrane repair and programmed cell death. This has stimulated research aimed at elucidating the structures, functions and regulation of the 15 known mammalian calpain isoforms, as well as conserved isoforms from drosophila, nematodes and other species. Growing evidence of calpain involvement in cancer, neurogeneration and cardiovascular disease in particular are inspiring efforts to develop novel calpain inhibitors. This conference brings together leading experts and trainees to present and discuss their latest unpublished findings, including identification of novel calpain substrates and elucidation of how calpain cleavage affects their functions; as well as examples of how dysregulated calpain activity contributes to diseases and preclinical model studies investigating how blocking calpain may provide therapeutic benefits. Session topics will include: bioinformatics of calpain substrate identification; measuring calpain activity in vivo and in vitro; calpain in autophagy; calpain in programed cell death; calpains in neural development and degeneration; calpain in cardiovascular disease and aging; calpain in cancer; and calpastatin and other calpain inhibitors.

FASEB has announced a total of 36 Science Research Conferences (SRC) in 2016. Registration opens January 7, 2016. For more information about an SRC, view preliminary programs, or find a listing of all our 2016 SRCs, please visit


Since 1982, FASEB SRC has offered a continuing series of inter-disciplinary exchanges that are recognized as a valuable complement to the highly successful society meetings. Divided into small groups, scientists from around the world meet intimately and without distractions to explore new approaches to those research areas undergoing rapid scientific changes. In efforts to expand the SRC series, potential organizers are encouraged to contact SRC staff at Proposal guidelines can be found at

FASEB is composed of 30 societies with more than 125,000 members, making it the largest coalition of biomedical research associations in the United States. Our mission is to advance health and welfare by promoting progress and education in biological and biomedical sciences through service to our member societies and collaborative advocacy.

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