This meeting will address the new roles and novel crosstalk mechanisms that are emerging for many of the 48 human nuclear receptors, in health and disease. For example, it has long been known that the estrogen receptor drives progression of breast cancer, and patients with estrogen receptor-positive disease are treated using antiestrogens or aromatase inhibitors to inhibit estrogen signalling. Now however, it is apparent that the androgen receptor can in some cases drive breast cancer progression and is a therapeutic target, resulting in clinical trials for androgen receptor-targeting therapies in advanced breast cancer. The androgen receptor, itself long the main therapeutic target in prostate cancer, is emerging as a key player in metabolic disease, while conversely other nuclear receptor including the glucocorticoid receptor and several orphan nuclear receptors are implicated in prostate cancer progression. Meanwhile, given the impact of many nuclear receptors on the central nervous system, it is unsurprising that they are being explored in the context of neurological disorders and depression. Thus there is wide scope for re-purposing of licensed drugs and development of new NR-targeting therapies for a host of conditions and diseases.
Crosstalk between nuclear receptors and other fundamental processes is another exciting expanding area that will also be covered. DNA damage repair pathways are inextricably linked to steroid signalling via transcriptional processes, with implications for drug combinations in several diseases. Hitherto unsuspected roles of nuclear receptors in epigenetic control and the processing and function of non-coding RNAs opens up to capacity of this superfamily to further means of impacting on development and normal functioning, but also on disease development.
This unique meeting will bring together many of the leading figures in nuclear receptor research from across the globe, to discuss emerging roles and their implications for health and disease – and both human and drug development – in an intimate meeting that will generate meaningful idea exchange and interaction that will help to further shape this influential field.
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