The 1st European Symposium on Calcium Binding Proteins in Normal and Transformed Cells occurred in Brussels in 1989 and was financially supported by EC. The organising committee (Donato, Haiech, Heizmann and Pochet), following EC recommendations, has created a structure:
European Calcium Society (E.C.S.), duly registered in 1997 under the Belgian law of October 25, 1919 (see Moniteur Belge du 22 janvier 1998 pp 951- 952) which is the main body responsible of the symposium organisation. Ca2+ is a universal second messenger in eukaryotic cells working mostly when bound to Ca2+ -binding (sensor) proteins. These latter, being activated by Ca2+, are allowed to interact with specific sets of effector proteins thereby regulating effector protein activity(ies).
Muscle contraction, cell motility, synaptic transmission, gene expression, enzyme activity, the cell cycle and apoptosis (to mention a few) are the cell activities/processes that are regulated by Ca2+ -binding proteins by virtue of their ability to bind Ca2+. Besides, growing evidence suggests that some Ca2+ -binding proteins can act from outside the cell to affect target cells in a paracrine, autocrine and, possibly, endocrine manner. The post genomic era opens a large array of discoveries.
The 7th European Symposium on Calcium Binding Proteins in Normal and Transformed Cells is timely scheduled for disseminating results obtained 2 years after the working draft completion of the human genome sequencing. High-level keynote speakers (one is Nobel Prize winner) will present their utmost results to a large audience (300 participants composed of a wide range of participants including clinicians). It is anticipated that many new pathways using Calcium and Calcium Binding Proteins within the cell will be presented for the first time at this European Symposium.
At the 6th Symposium held in Paris, clear links between calcium-regulated pathways and a spectrum of important diseases (channelopathies, annexinopathies, citrullinemia) were established (see Highlights of the Sixth European Symposium at ECS WEB page: http://www.ulb.ac.be/assoc/ecs/news). This aspect will be pursued and will form another highlight of the 7th Symposium.