About the workshop
This EMBO workshop addresses a key question in cell biology: how specific structures of complex glycans, attached to lipids or proteins, are read by lectins in the cell, and how this information is transduced into function.
Our program focuses on galectins, which operate both as decoders of glycan structures and drivers of cluster and lattice formation. Galectins are small soluble proteins with activities in both, vesicular/extracellular and cytosolic/nuclear compartments.
During the workshop, the galectin family will be presented regarding structure, glycan-binding specificities and other biochemical properties, and the formation of clusters and membrane microdomains will be discussed in the context of specific cellular processes, including autophagy, intracellular trafficking and endocytosis. Galectin functions will also be addressed in immunity, inflammation and cancer, as revealed by studies in animal models and human.
The overall ambition of our project is to work towards identifying underlying mechanistic principles that then provide a unifying view on apparently widely divergent cellular activities of the galectins. The inclusion of speakers from within and outside the galectin field with expertise in divergent areas of science such as experimental and theoretical physics, cellular imaging is expected to provide fruitful ground for this endeavor.