Scientists to meet in Dallas for conference on cytochromes P450


Bethesda, MD Over 300 leading researchers from around the world will gather in Dallas, Texas from May 31 June 5 for the 14th International Conference on Cytochromes P450: Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Bioinformatics. The conference, which is being held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, will focus on recent developments in research on the cytochromes P450, their associated enzymes and drug metabolizing enzymes.

"This is the 14th meeting in a series of international meetings," notes conference organizer Dr. Sandra Graham. "The last time this meeting was held in the United States was in 1997 in San Francisco under the auspices of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). While the International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics (ISSX) does cover some of this area, this conference focuses more specifically on the biochemistry and biophysics of P450s, and thus more of basic sciences rather than the pharmaceutically or medically oriented areas. This is important because too frequently areas such as reaction mechanisms, protein structures, protein-protein interactions and membrane interactions are overlooked when approaching the subject from a medical or pharmaceutical prospective."

The cytochromes P450 are a large family of heme-containing proteins that oxidize drugs, steroids, and carcinogens. Oxidation of these potentially harmful substances makes them more water-soluble and easier to clear out of cells. The P450s are also involved in vascular autoregulation, particularly in the brain, and the formation of cholesterol, steroids and arachidonic acid metabolites.

Most of the early studies on these enzymes involved experimental animals, but with time the work has moved to the human P450s and today much of the resulting knowledge has been applied in the drug development process, as well as in endocrinology, toxicology, and other areas. Despite the complexity of P450s, much has been learned about their structures, mechanisms, and function.

The Dallas meeting will feature approximately 55 presentations on a diverse array of topics including the structures and functions of the P450 proteins, their chemistry, their interactions with other proteins and membranes, their inhibitors and substrates, their receptors and regulation, and bioinformatics relating to P450s. There will also be a Continuing Medical Education program for physicians in the Dallas area as well as two computer workshops.

"We hope that each area that is presented has the best people in the field," says Dr. Graham. "Since we are in Dallas and we have an expertise at U.T. Southwestern Medical Center in the area of cholesterol metabolism and the receptors and regulation of P450s, we have taken advantage of our colleagues. We also have an excellent group of structural biologists from around the country who have studied the structures of P450s with a passion. We have a group of people who have studied the various polymorphisms in P450s which affect drug metabolism in the liver."

One of the main goals of this conference is to provide an opportunity for students and researchers from around the world to interact. "The beauty of this series of conferences is that it takes place all over the world so that students and scientists have the opportunity to meet," explains Dr. Graham. "It makes the world just a little smaller and it breaks down barriers while educating and presenting the most up-to-date advances in the area of Cytochromes P450."

The conference is organized by the Society for the Study of Cytochromes P450 with support from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics. More detailed information, including programs and registration materials, can be found at

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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