yet the forgotten sibling of cAMP, was discovered as a second messenger
in the late ´60s. For many years, cGMP retained the status of
a sleeping princess. Many decades passed before its pathophysiological
and pharmacological implications were appreciated.
In the ´70s,
it became apparent that nitrovasodilators such as glycerol trinitrate,
which liberate nitric oxide (NO), are potent activators of the cGMP-forming
signaling enzyme, soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC). After the discovery
of endogenous NO formation in the late ´80s and the 1998 Nobel
Prize in Physiology or Medicine, many researchers and physicians
became interested again in the NO/sGC interaction and cGMP-dependent
and other peptides have been identified as ligands for another family
of cGMP-forming enzymes, particulate guanylyl cyclases (pGC). Subsequently,
the effector systems of cGMP, protein kinases, ion channels and
phosphodiesterases, have emerged as independent sub-fields and therapeutic
While the complexity of cGMP formation, metabolism and effectors
now underscores the importance of cGMP signaling, it has traditionally led most scientists in this area attend
rather specialized meetings on NO, protein kinases, ion channels
None of these
meetings have integrated all aspects of cGMP and many aspects of cellular
cross-talk between different effectors have not been addressed at all.
This has limited fruitful scientific interactions. In fact,
many scientists in this area don't know each other personally.
meeting willhopefully be the first of a series of meetings
exclusively devoted to this exciting and important signaling molecule,
addressing all recent advances in understanding guanylyl cyclase
regulation, NO/sGC interactions, cGMP effector mechanisms and their
pathophysiological and pharmacological implications. Special focus
will be addressed also to NO-independent sGC activation as well
as PDE inhibition, thus spanning the continuum from basic science to clinic.
We are also
pleased to offer the opportunity to explore the field of cGMP research
in such a historical venue as Leipzig and invite you to join us
during June 14-16, 2003.