"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
Contact: Nicole Kresge
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology