IUBMB Journal Highlights | August 2023

We are excited to highlight new research from the IUBMB JournalsIUBMB 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!


Volume 75, Issue 8

Issue Highlights

FOXC2-induced circCASK aggravates colorectal cancer progression by upregulating SIX1 expression

Junwei Zou, Yong Huang, Yuan Chen, Zhaoying Wu, Hao Xie, Hailang Zhou, Chungen Xing

First published: 24 March 2023

Colorectal cancer (CRC) ranks as the most common gastrointestinal solid carcinoma globally. Substantial evidence has established a pivotal role for circular RNAs (circRNAs) in CRC progression. In this study, differentially expressed circRNAs were analyzed based on a public dataset (GSE126094) and elevated expression of circCASK (hsa_circ_0001917) was validated in CRC. Moreover, increased circCASK was also confirmed in CRC patients. Functionally, circCASK knockdown led to a significant decrease in CRC cell growth and attenuated cell migration and invasion. Similarly, circCASK knockdown markedly attenuated tumor growth in vivo. Mechanistically, circCASK sponged miR-1271-5p and enhanced sine oculis homeobox homolog 1 (SIX1) expression. More importantly, both SIX1 overexpression and miR-1271-5p knockdown could reverse the cellular behavior inhibition induced by circCASK knockdown. Furthermore, SIX1 was most strongly and positively linked with Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathways, circCASK triggered Wnt/β-catenin signaling through the miR-1271-5p/SIX1 axis, and FOXC2 transcriptionally induced circCASK expression. In conclusion, circCASK induced by FOXC2 accelerated CRC progression through the miR-1271-5p/SIX1 axis, thus providing an interesting insight into CRC tumorigenesis.

First published: 19 August 2023

Recent reports indicated that the phytochemical curcumin possesses iron-chelating activity. Here, by employing the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, we conducted feeding studies supplementing curcumin or, as a control, the iron chelator bathophenanthroline (BPA). First, the absorption and further metabolization of dietary curcuminoids were proved by metabolomics analyses. Next, we found that 0.2% dietary curcumin, similar to BPA, lowered the iron but also the cobalt content, and to a lesser extent affected the manganese and zinc status. Supplementation during larval stages was required and sufficient for both compounds to elicit these alterations in adult animals. However, curcumin-induced retarded larval development was not attributable to the changed trace metal status. In addition, a reduction in the iron content of up to 70% by curcumin or BPA supplementation did not reduce heme-dependent catalase activity and tolerance toward H2O2 in D. melanogaster. Moreover, polyamines were not influenced by curcumin treatment and decreased iron levels. This was confirmed for selected organs from 0.2% curcumin-treated mice, except for the spleen. Here, elevated spermidine level and concomitant upregulation of genes involved in polyamine production were associated with a putatively anemia-derived increased spleen mass. Our data underline that the metal-chelating property of curcumin needs to be considered in feeding studies.


First published: 22 August 2023

Tuberculosis is a fatal disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. M. tuberculosis becoming drug-resistant day by day, necessitating to know the mechanism behind the drug resistance and how to overcome this deadly malady. Drug resistance and reduced drug bioavailability are caused by a class of transporter proteins called the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters, which pump a range of medicines out of cells at the price of ATP hydrolysis. By using computational approaches, we tried to elaborate the probable function of the Rv2326c gene of M. tuberculosis, perhaps involved in drug resistance mechanism. The presence of the signature motif of ABC transporters (LSGGELQRLALAAAL and LSGGQMRRVVLAGLL) and ATP binding motif (GXXXXGKT and GXXXXGKS) in the protein sequence signifying its importance in the ATP binding and transportation of molecules. Further, this manuscript elaborated about tertiary structure and validation, functional category, localization, phosphorylation site prediction, mutational analysis of conserved motifs. Ligand docking study shows the highest affinity with ATP than GTP justified its function as an ATP binding protein. The Rv2326c protein is present in the inner membrane and working as an ATP binding protein and might be playing a dynamic role in transportation. In this study, we found that Rv2326c protein might be working as an ABC transporter by which the drugs and other molecules are imported or exported into the bacterium. As a result, the current study provides a means to better understand its normal functioning and basic biology, which can help in the development of novel therapeutic targeting approaches for Rv2326c protein.


First published: 16 August 2023

Three dimensional (3D) design and printing are customizable and cost-effective approaches to developing small equipment and other items for use in various interdisciplinary applications. However, many pedagogical approaches to 3D printing focus more on the generation of artifacts than on the involvement of students as creators. Moreover, library makerspaces offer 3D printing services but cannot always engage the students with practical applications of their designs. We sought to determine if promoted use of 3D printing could be developed in biology laboratory trainees, ranging from undergraduate students to postdoctoral fellows. We combined two instructional workshops in the San Diego State University Library build IT makerspace, with two individual assignments to build items for the research laboratory. Evaluation of the course revealed that participants had expected the design and print processes to be of high complexity, but learned that the necessary skills could be acquired and applied in a relatively short period of time. Also, we found that trainees became proficient in 3D design and printing, and that a majority of individuals used 3D printing for subsequent applications. This effective translation of 3D printing to the research laboratory can be a paradigm for how 3D fabrication is taught. Moreover, this approach required the collaboration of library makerspace and research faculty, underlining the value of embedded librarianship in enhancing training and knowledge.


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 Germanythe NetherlandsAustriaNorwayHungaryFinland, 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

Volume 88 (December 2022) 101144
Diagnostic and therapeutic potential of protease inhibition

Natalia Ćwilichowska a1, KarolinaW. Świderska a1
Agnieszka Dobrzyń b, Marcin Drąg a, Marcin Poręba a

Aspects of Molecular Medicine

Aspects of Molecular Medicine LOW RES for overprint placement

Volume 2 (December 2023) 100021
Curcumin and butyrate induce fibroblast senescence without the emergence of fibrosis biomarkers

Siwei Chu a, Natali Joma bc, Hui Wen Yong c
Dusica Maysinger b, Ashok Kakkar c, Ursula Stochaj ad