Functional Disulfide Bonds in Health and Disease

Conference Summary

Most proteins are chemically modified after they are made to control how, when, and where they function. It was thought that only the amino acid side chains and the peptide bonds of proteins were chemically modified. It has become clear in recent years that the disulfide bonds of proteins are also modified. Some disulfide bonds are cleaved in the mature protein to control function. From a few examples a decade ago, there are now about thirty well-defined examples of control of protein function by functional disulfides and dozens more examples that are under investigation. Cleavage of a functional disulfide in a protein changes the bioactivity of the protein. Changes in ligand binding, substrate hydrolysis, proteolysis, or oligomer formation have been described. The functional disulfides are cleaved by reductases or by thiol–disulfide exchange. Viral, bacterial, plant and mammalian proteins are regulated by functional disulfides, so this mechanism of protein control operates in all life forms. The early indications are that cleavage of disulfide bonds may rival proteolysis of peptide bonds as a means of protein control.

This conference will focus on the functional disulfides that contribute to regulation of thrombosis, neuroprotection and cancer in mammals. How protein function in these systems is regulated by disulfide bond cleavage and the factors that cleave the bonds will be discussed. The chemistry and molecular dynamics of cleavage of functional disulfides will be addressed, and the bioinformatic and experimental approaches used to identify and study these bonds will be examined. Some functional disulfides have been linked to human disease and progress is being made on ways of targeting these bonds for new diagnostics and therapies. Small molecule inhibitors of the factors that cleave functional disulfides are in pre-clinical and clinical development.

The invited presentations will be from both established and junior investigators and a large number of oral presentations will be selected from the abstracts. The talks, poster presentations and recreational activities will provide students and postdoctoral fellows with opportunities to exchange ideas, formulate new collaborations and explore career options in this research field.

Important Deadlines:

  • Early bird registration deadline April 23, 2018
  • Last day to register May 16, 2018


  • Functional disulfides that contribute to regulation of thrombosis, neuroprotection and cancer in mammals will be highlighted.

  • How to identify and study functional disulfides.

  • How to target functional disulfides for new diagnostics and therapies for disease.

Keynote Speaker

Ruma Banerjee
University of Michigan

Conference Organizers

Dr. Robert Flaumenhaft
Harvard Medical School

Dr. Chaitan Khosla
Stanford University

Dr. Philip Hogg
University of Sydney

FASEB Conference Staff

Silvy Song, Conference Manager

Contact us

Email: src@faseb.org
Phone: 1.301.634.7010

Date & Location


June 17-22, 2018


The National Conference Center
18980 Upper Belmont Place
Leesburg, VA 20176

Transportation & Lodging

Airport Information

Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) is approximately 14 miles or 21 minutes from the National Conference Center. 

Click the links below for Transportation & Lodging information

Official Conference Lodging

The National Conference Center
18980 Upper Belmont Place
Leesburg, VA 20176

A credit card will be required upon check-in for incidental expenses (i.e. in-room movies, room service, etc.)

If you plan to arrive early or stay beyond the conference dates, you must make your own reservations for the extra nights you require. You are responsible for payment upon check-out.

Click here for additional Offsite Lodging.

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