With a new drug for primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) approved and more drugs currently in clinical trials for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), nuclear receptors are showing great impact on liver disease research.
To respond to the growing body of research, this year’s Basic Science Symposium at The Liver Meeting® will take the first indepth look at “Nuclear Receptors and the Liver” on Saturday, October 21.
“Nuclear receptors are becoming increasingly important in regulating the liver’s normal physiology and pathology. We study nuclear receptors in the liver not only to have a better understanding of normal liver function, but also because they provide new hope in treating liver disease by targeting the nuclear receptors,” said Wendong Huang, PhD, who along with Li Wang, PhD, is program chair for this year’s symposium.
Register now to take advantage of this comprehensive program on the critical roles of nuclear receptors in liver physiology, the impact of nuclear receptors in the development of hepatic disease and the new therapeutic approaches in treating liver diseases through targeting nuclear receptors.
Nuclear receptors constitute a unique superfamily of transcription factors important to a broad aspect of liver physiology and pathophysiology. Recent advances using obeticholic acid, an analog of nuclear receptor FXR natural ligand CDCA to treat PBC, shed light on the great potential in targeting nuclear receptors for the treatment of liver diseases.
“The FXR receptor has now become an ideal target for drug development to treat different liver diseases. There are several major pharmaceutical companies that have developed compounds which can specifically activate this nuclear receptor,” said Dr. Huang, noting that just last year the US Food and Drug Administration approved obeticholic acid to PBC. “This is just one example of a successful drug development by targeting nuclear receptors to treat liver disease.”
While nuclear receptors have been a popular topic for other societies, its growing importance in liver disease makes it an exciting topic for liver researchers and clinicians.
“Previously, the nuclear receptor symposia have been successfully focused on cancer, diabetes and other research areas. For liver disease, recently they’ve become more and more important. A number of new nuclear receptors are identified, which are highly expressed and display very important function in the liver. I don’t think this topic has been well covered previously by other meetings,” he noted.
The symposium will bring together basic researchers and clinical investigators to promote nuclear receptor research based therapeutics. The symposium is divided into four topic areas, each designed to bring well-known experts in the nuclear receptor field to the podium to share insight into how the work will impact liver disease. Session one will focus on the basic mechanisms of nuclear receptors.
“We have invited prominent and well-known nuclear receptor researchers to cover the basic mechanisms,” said Dr. Huang, adding that the speakers will address topics such as cross-talk between the gut and the liver, nuclear receptors and inflammation, the role of chromatin and chromatin reorganization and genetic variation in PPARα gene regulation in normal and fatty liver.
“The second section will cover the important topic of hepatic lipid metabolism,” he said. “This is highly related to NASH, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and those fatty liver diseases which are now becoming major diseases.”
Section three will address new findings related to non-coding RNAs, a new topic highly related to the lipid and fatty liver disease information in section two. The session will wrap up with a look at potential therapeutic targets of nuclear receptors.
“Our goal is for more researchers and clinicians to learn about the nuclear receptor field. This is a very exciting and challenging field, and it holds great opportunity for liver disease treatment and the future of liver research,” said Dr. Huang.