IUBMB Journals

IUBMB Journal Highlights | April 2022

We are excited to highlight new research from the IUBMB Journals: IUBMB Life, BioFactors, Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education.

Please also consider submitting your own research to the IUBMB Journals. You can expect to work with distinguished Editorial Board members and benefit from worldwide circulation and readership through our publishing partnership with Wiley. For more information about the journal and submissions, feel free to peruse the IUBMB journals website.

For now, please enjoy highlights of our recent content. Happy reading!



New Issue: Volume 74, Issue 4IUBMB life cover

Issue Highlights

Hyaluronan as “Agent Smith” in cancer extracellular matrix pathobiology: Regulatory roles in immune response, cancer progression and targeting

Dimitris Kokoretsis, Evangelia-Konstantina Maniaki, Konstantina Kyriakopoulou, Christos Koutsakis, Zoi Piperigkou, Nikos K. Karamanos

First published: 08 March 2022

Extracellular matrix (ECM) critically regulates cancer cell behavior by governing cell signaling and properties. Hyaluronan (HA) acts as a structural and functional ECM component that mediates critical properties of cancer cells in a molecular size-dependent manner. HA fragments secreted by cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) reveal the correlation of HA to CAF-mediated matrix remodeling, a key step for the initiation of metastasis. The main goal of this article is to highlight the vital functions of HA in cancer cell initiation and progression as well as HA-mediated paracrine interactions among cancer and stromal cells. Furthermore, the HA implication in mediating immune responses to cancer progression is also discussed. Novel data on the role of HA in the formation of pre-metastatic niche may contribute towards the improvement of current theranostic approaches that benefit cancer management.

agent smith


TAR DNA-binding protein 43 oligomers in physiology and pathology

Yuh Shen Lye, Yun-Ru Chen

First published: 28 February 2022

TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) is an RNA/DNA-binding protein involved in RNA regulation and diseases. In 2006, TDP-43 inclusions were found in the disease lesions of several neurodegenerative diseases. It is the pathological hallmark in both amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar dementia. It also presents in a large portion of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. TDP-43 is prone to aggregate; however, the role of TDP-43 oligomers remains poorly understood in both physiological and pathological conditions. In this review, we emphasize the role of oligomeric TDP-43 in both physiological and pathological conditions and discuss the potential mechanisms of oligomer formation. Finally, we suggest therapeutic strategies against the TDP-43 oligomers in neurodegenerative diseases.

TDP-43 oligomers




                                  Long non-coding RNAs: sequence, structure, function and evolution IUBMB life cover

GUEST EDITORS:   Toni Gabaldón, Barcelona Supercomputing Center and Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Spain; Lovorka Stojic, Barts Cancer Institute, QMUL, UK; Uciel Chorostecki, Barcelona Supercomputing Center and Institute for Research in Biomedicine
Manuscripts should be submitted by 31 May 2022
Expected issue publication will be September 2022

                                  Multicellular Microenvironment Effects on the Modulation of Cell Functions IUBMB life cover

GUEST EDITOR:   Xiangya Ding, Nanjing Medical University
Deadline extension for manuscript submission 30 June 2022
Expected issue publication will be November 2022



See all the new IUBMB Life Virtual Issues here



Biofactors coverNew Special Issue: Volume 48, Issue 1

Issue Highlights

Light-activatable multifunctional paclitaxel nanoprodrug for synergistic chemo-photodynamic therapy in liver cancer

Hanzhang Zhu, Weijiang Zhou, Yafeng Wan, Jun Lu, Ke Ge, Changku Jia

First published: 07 March 2022

Paclitaxel (Ptx) is widely utilized to treat liver cancer, and the treatment benefit of reactive oxygen species (ROS)-responsive Ptx nanoprodrug is investigated in this study. The one-step nano-precipitation method was utilized to self-assembly DSPE-PEG2000-thioketal linker (TK)-Ptx with pyropheophorbide acid nanoparticles (PPa NPs) to form PPa/Ptx NPs. Dynamic light scattering and transmission electron microscopy were used for characterization, and 2′-7′dichlorofluorescin diacetate staining was utilized for intracellular ROS detection. HepG2 cells viability and tumor growth rate of HepG2 bearing mice were assayed. Hematoxylin and eosin staining, proliferating cell nuclear antigen detection, and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end labeling assay were utilized for histology assessment. PPa/Ptx NPs incubation with light irradiation showed superior cytotoxicity to HepG2 cells with increased intracellular ROS production than PPa/Ptx NPs incubation without light irradiation or PPa NPs incubation with light irradiation. At the same time, PPa/Ptx NPs with light irradiation could significantly decrease the tumor growth in vivo as indicated by diminished tumor volume with the largest necrotic area, the highest rate of apoptotic cells, and the least proliferating cells. PPa/Ptx NPs show synergistic chemo-photodynamic characteristics, which could be considered as a promising treatment option for liver cancer.



Gut microbiome–micronutrient interaction: The key to controlling the bioavailability of minerals and vitamins?

Monica Barone, Federica D’Amico, Patrizia Brigidi, Silvia Turroni

First published: 16 March 2022

Micronutrients, namely, vitamins and minerals, are necessary for the proper functioning of the human body, and their deficiencies can have dramatic short- and long-term health consequences. Among the underlying causes, certainly a reduced dietary intake and/or poor absorption in the gastrointestinal tract play a key role in decreasing their bioavailability. Recent evidence from clinical and in vivo studies suggests an increasingly important contribution from the gut microbiome. Commensal microorganisms can in fact regulate the levels of micronutrients, both by intervening in the biosynthetic processes and by modulating their absorption. This short narrative review addresses the pivotal role of the gut microbiome in influencing the bioavailability of vitamins (such as A, B, C, D, E, and K) and minerals (calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorous), as well as the impact of these micronutrients on microbiome composition and functionality. Personalized microbiome-based intervention strategies could therefore constitute an innovative tool to counteract micronutrient deficiencies by modulating the gut microbiome toward an eubiotic configuration capable of satisfying the needs of our organism, while promoting general health.



Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry

Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry coverVolume 69, Issue 1

Issue Highlights

Antibacterial metabolites from an unexplored strain of marine fungi Emericellopsis minima and determination of the probable mode of action against Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus

Shivankar Agrawal, Laurent Dufossé, Sunil Kumar Deshmukh

First published: 03 March 2022

Increasing prevalence of drug resistance has led researchers to focus on discovering new antibacterial agents derived from the marine biome. Although ample studies have investigated marine fungi for their bioactive metabolites with hopeful prospects in drug discovery. The present study was aimed to isolate/ identify potential antimethicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus compounds producing marine fungal strain from the Indian marine environment. The effective anti-MRSA compound was produced by a marine fungal strain designated as D6. The D6 strain exhibited 99% similarity to Emericellopsis minima based on 18S rRNA gene analysis. The culture conditions of E. minima D6 were optimized using nutritional and environmental parameters for enhanced anti-MRSA compound production. The agar well diffusion assay was used to determine the inhibition zone diameter of the crude extract against S. aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus, whereas the broth microdilution method was used to determine their minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) active fraction. MIC values of the ethyl acetate fraction ranged from 0.8 to 1 mg/mL. SEM analysis revealed that the ethyl acetate fraction induces deep craters in methicillin-resistant S. aureus. Further, GC-MS analysis confirmed the occurrence of a total of 15 major compounds in active ethyl acetate fraction. Some of the major antibacterial compounds included cyclopentanol, isothiazole, benzoic acid, pyrrolo[1,2-a] pyrazine-1,4-dione, and hexahydro. These findings suggest that the marine fungi of E. minima can be a valuable candidate for prospecting antibiotics and an alternative complementary strategy for drug-resistant bacterial infections.



Pterostilbene regulates cell proliferation and apoptosis in non-small-cell lung cancer via targeting COX-2

Zhimin Wang, Tingting Wang, Xu Chen, Jing Cheng, Lijuan Wang

First published: 01 March 2022

Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), occupying a great proportion of lung cancer, threatens the health of patients, and the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression is found to be upregulated in lung cancer. Pterostilbene (PTE) is perceived as a novel method for clinical therapy due to its high performance. However, the mechanism underlying and the interaction between PTE and COX-2 remain vague. We simulated radiation circumstances and transfected cells with the interference of PTE and COX-2. Our results showed that radiation or PTE treatment alone restrained cell proliferation and viability while stimulating cell apoptosis, and the above properties were strengthened when the two were in combination. The COX-2 expression was promoted by radiation but was reduced by PTE. PTE reversed the effects of radiation on the COX-2 expression. COX-2 knockdown suppressed COX-2 expression and proliferation and enhanced apoptosis of cells suffering radiation, while COX-2 overexpression reversed the inhibition of PTE. Our study suggested PTE regulated NSCLC cell proliferation and apoptosis via targeting COX-2, which might shed a light on cancer therapy.



Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education

New Virtual Issue on Teaching in the Time of COVID-19Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education

Volume 50, Issue 2

Issue Highlights

An experimental protocol for molecular biology lab at an Amazonian University

Fernando Valdivieso-Rivera, José Rafael Almeida, Carolina Proaño-Bolaños

First published: 08 March 2022

Laboratory-based practical classes are an essential component in teaching molecular biology for undergraduate students. Universidad Regional Amazonica Ikiam is a higher education institution located in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest, a high biodiversity place, including amphibians. Based on this, we have established a practical molecular biology program with eight sessions that contextualize the biodiverse surroundings of the University. This program stimulates synchronization of information between theory and practice and improves research skills. During these sessions, students are motivated to identify and characterize antimicrobial peptides from Ecuadorian frog skin secretions, using molecular biology techniques and biochemistry and microbiology knowledge. This practical course was held twice with a total of 56 students from the fifth semester of the biotechnology engineering. The evaluation of the practical program was carried out through a questionnaire applied to students using the Likert scale. Overall, this form of teaching had high receptivity and presented benefits for student learning. Interestingly, 80% of respondents strongly agreed that this course provided tools and knowledge for the development of their undergraduate dissertation. Therefore, practical courses tailored to the student’s context can stimulate student learning and interest. Additionally, this experimental methodology is interdisciplinary and can be applied to other research fields and subjects.

experimental methodology


Did you know? Wiley and Jisc just signed an agreement that allows UK authors to publish Open Access in the IUBMB Journals at no cost to them.

Thanks to a partnership our publisher Wiley has signed with Jisc, certain UK institutions now have full access to journals published by Wiley, including the IUBMB Journals. Further, the partnership enables authors at participating UK institutions to publish open access at no cost to them in the IUBMB Journals. Payment of the associated Article Publication Charges (APC) would be covered via the partnership, and authors will not need to cover the APCs from their own pockets.

Wiley has also signed similar agreements with universities in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Norway, Hungary, Finland, Sweden, and with the US-based OhioLink And VIVA.

Submit your research to the IUBMB Journals today.

Molecular Aspects of Medicine

Molecular Aspects of Medicine cover

Volume 82 (December 2021) 100972
Neuronal autophagy and mitophagy in Parkinson’s disease
by Britney N. Lizama, Charleen T. Chu