IUBMB Journal Highlights | June 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 6IUBMB life cover

Issue Highlights

β-Elemene induces apoptosis by activating the P53 pathway in human hypertrophic scar fibroblasts

Qin Guo, Yujia Li, Yuan Chen, Jin Ji, Shizhong Zheng, Xuefen Xu, Biyun Zhang, Jianzhou Ye

First published: 16 March 2022

Hypertrophic scar (HS) is a condition characterized by excessive synthesis and deposition of collagen. There are many clinical methods to alleviate HS, but most of them are accompanied by many complications. To investigate the effects of β-Elemene, extracted from the ginger family plant Wenyujin, on human hypertrophic scar fibroblast (hHSFs). Cultured hHSFs and human normal fibroblasts, observed the effect of β-Elemene on apoptosis, extracellular matrix, and endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) by western blot, Real Time-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), and flow cytometry. Based on our findings, it is clear that β-Elemene could inhibit the expression of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), collagen I, and fibronectin, reduced collagen deposition. Further studies had found that β-Elemene could increase the expression of ERS-related proteins CHOP and Calnexin in a dose-dependent manner, thereby promoting the aggregation of cleaved-caspase-3 and inducing hHSFs to undergo poptosis. This process may depend on the regulation of P53. The results of our study indicates that β-Elemene induced hHSFs to undergo apoptosis though ERS pathway in a P53-dependent manner, which means that our research provided a new strategy for the development of drugs for the treatment of HS.



Induced effect of zinc oxide nanoparticles on human acute myeloid leukemia cell apoptosis by regulating mitochondrial division

Xuewei Yin, Zonghong Li, Chunyi Lyu, Yan Wang, Shumin Ding, Chenchen Ma, Jingyi Wang, Siyuan Cui, Jinxin Wang, Dadong Guo, Ruirong Xu

First published: 05 April 2022

Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) have exhibited excellent anti-tumor properties; the present study aimed to elucidate the underlying mechanism of ZnO NPs induced apoptosis in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells by regulating mitochondrial division. THP-1 cells, an AML cell line, were first incubated with different concentrations of ZnO NPs for 24 hr. Next, the expression of Drp-1, Bcl-2, Bax mRNA, and protein was detected, and the effects of ZnO NPs on the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψm), apoptosis, and ATP generation in THP-1 cells were measured. Moreover, the effect of Drp-1 inhibitor Mdivi-1 and ZnO NPs on THP-1 cells was also detected. The results showed that the THP-1 cells survival rate decreased with the increment of ZnO NPs concentration and incubation time in a dose- and time-dependent manner. ZnO NPs can reduce the cell Δψm and ATP levels, induce ROS production, and increase the levels of mitochondrial division and apoptosis. In contrast, the apoptotic level was significantly reduced after intervention of Drp-1 inhibitor, suggesting that ZnO NPs can induce the apoptosis of THP-1 cells by regulating mitochondrial division. Overall, ZnO NPs may provide a new basis and idea for treating human acute myeloid leukemia in clinical practice.



Cytokeratin 13 promotes radiotherapy sensitivity of nasopharyngeal carcinoma by downregulating the MEK/ERK pathway

Ming Shi, Jia Wan, Huan Wang, Hong Yu

First published: 15 April 2022


Radiation therapy is the first treatment choice for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), while radiation resistance and recurrence have become the primary factors and are associated with poor prognosis in the clinical treatment of NPC patients. The purpose of the present study was to explore the sensitivity and molecular basis of cytokeratin 13 (CK13) that regulates NPC radiotherapy.


HNE-3 or C666-1 cell line was used for overexpression and knockdown tests. Under radiotherapy conditions, CCK-8 assay, clone formation assay, and flow cytometry analyzed the effects of CK13 overexpression on cell proliferation, apoptosis, and cell cycle, respectively. In addition, Western blotting detected CK13-mediated downregulation of cell cycle-related genes. The mouse subcutaneous tumor-bearing experiment identified the effects of CK13 overexpression on the treatment of NPC in vivo. Further, Western blotting, CCK-8 assay, and flow cytometry investigated whether the CK13-mediated cell apoptosis involves the MEK/ERK signaling pathway.


Overexpression of CK13 significantly inhibited the survival of HNE-3 cells under radiotherapy in vitro and in vivo, and there was a substantial decrease in cyclin-dependent kinase 4 and 6 (CDK4/6) levels promoting the cell percentage number in the G2/M phase and, subsequently, the ratio of the apoptotic cells. In contrast, the knockdown of CK13 showed the opposite partial regulatory effect. Interestingly, CK13 overexpression also showed a reduction in the survival of C666-1 cells and an increased ratio of the apoptotic cells under radiotherapy treatment. Furthermore, higher levels of CK13 downregulated the MEK/ERK signaling pathway, resulting in decreased HNE-3 cell proliferation and increased apoptosis. However, ERK activators were able to rescue the process partially.


Together, these results showed that CK13 promoted the radiosensitivity of NPC cells by downregulating the MEK/ERK signaling pathway. Thus, targeting CK13 provided insights into the treatment of NPC radiotherapy.





                                  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


Extracellular Matrix: The Dynamic Structural and Functional Network in Health and Disease 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



                                  Cancer drug resistance: molecular mechanisms, and therapeutic implications IUBMB life cover

GUEST EDITOR:   Mandeep Kaur, University of the Witwatersrand
Deadline extension for manuscript submission 30 September 2022
Expected issue publication will be summer 2023



See all the new IUBMB Life Virtual Issues here



New Special Issue: Volume 48, Issue 2BioFactors cover

Issue Highlights

Curcuma longa and curcumin affect respiratory and allergic disorders, experimental and clinical evidence: A comprehensive and updated review

Arghavan Memarzia, Saeideh Saadat, Sepideh Behrouz, Mohammad Hossein Boskabady

First published: 31 December 2022

Curcuma longa and its constituents, mainly curcumin, showed various of pharmacological effects in previous studies. This review article provides updated and comprehensive experimental and clinical evidence regarding the effects of C. longa and curcumin on respiratory, allergic, and immunologic disorders. Using appropriate keywords, databases including PubMed, Science Direct, and Scopus were searched until the end of October 2021. C. longa extracts and its constituent, curcumin, showed the relaxant effect on tracheal smooth muscle, which indicates their bronchodilatory effect in obstructive pulmonary diseases. The preventive effects of extracts of C. longa and curcumin were shown in experimental animal models of different respiratory diseases through antioxidant, immunomodulatory, and anti-inflammatory mechanisms. C. longa and curcumin also showed preventive effects on some lung disorders in the clinical studies. It was shown that the effects of C. longa on pulmonary diseases were mainly due to its constituent, curcumin. Pharmacological effects of C. longa extracts and curcumin on respiratory, allergic, and immunologic disorders indicate the possible therapeutic effect of the plant and curcumin on these diseases.



Recent research progress of biologically active peptides

Linlin Kang, Tingting Han, Hailin Cong, Bing Yu, Youqing Shen

First published: 25 January 2022

With the rapid development of molecular biology and biochemical technology, great progress has been made in the study of peptides. Peptides are easy to digest and absorb, with lowering of blood pressure and cholesterol, improving immunity, regulating hormones, antibacterial, and antiviral effects. Peptides also have physiological regulation and biological metabolism functions with applications in the fields of feed production and biomedical research. In the future, the research focus of bioactive peptides will focus on their efficient preparation and application. This article introduces a comprehensive review of the types, synthesis, functionalization, and bio-related applications of bioactive peptides. For this aim, we introduced in detail various biopeptides and then presented the production methods of bioactive peptides, such as enzymatic synthesis, microbial fermentation, chemical synthesis, and others. The applications of bioactive peptides for anticancers, immune therapy, antibacterial, and other applications have been introduced and discussed. And discussed the development prospects of biologically active peptides.

active peptides


Nutrient-sensing amyloid metastasis

Luís Maurício T. R. Lima, Tháyna Sisnande

First published: 06 February 2022

Amyloids are organized suprastructural polypeptide arrangements. The prevalence of amyloid-related processes of pathophysiological relevance has been linked to aging-related degenerative diseases. Besides the role of genetic polymorphisms on the relative risk of amyloid diseases, the contributions of nongenetic ontogenic cluster of factors remain elusive. In recent decades, mounting evidences have been suggesting the role of essential micronutrients, in particular transition metals, in the regulation of amyloidogenic processes, both directly (such as binding to amyloid proteins) or indirectly (such as regulating regulatory partners, processing enzymes, and membrane transporters). The features of transition metals as regulatory cofactors of amyloid proteins and the consequences of metal dyshomeostasis in triggering amyloidogenic processes, as well as the evidences showing amelioration of symptoms by dietary supplementation, suggest an exaptative role of metals in regulating amyloid pathways. The self- and cross-talk replicative nature of these amyloid processes along with their systemic distribution support the concept of their metastatic nature. The role of amyloidosis as nutrient sensors would act as intra- and transgenerational epigenetic metabolic programming factors determining health span and life span, viability, which could participate as an evolutive selective pressure.



Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry

New Issue: Volume 69, Issue 2BAB cover

Issue Highlights

Pharmacological evaluation of the effects of enzymatically liberated fish oil on eosinophilic inflammation in animal models

Crawford Currie, Bomi Framroze, Dave Singh, Deepali Sharma, Christian Bjerknes, Erland Hermansen

First published: 30 March 2022

The inappropriate activation of eosinophils is a well-recognized driver of various human inflammatory diseases including asthma, chronic rhinitis, and various gastrointestinal diseases, including eosinophilic esophagitis. Steroids, both topical and systemic, remain a cornerstone of treatment and can be highly effective. However, some individuals suffer side effects, unresolved symptoms, or both. OmeGo, an enzymatically liberated fish oil, has demonstrated anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties as well the reduction of the activation, migration, and survival of eosinophils. Two animal models of eosinophilic inflammation were used to further assess OmeGo’s profile. A house dust mite model of induced asthma showed a significant reduction in eosinophilic lung inflammation compared to the negative control, linoleic acid. The CRTH2 antagonist fevipiprant showed a similar eosinophilic inhibitory profile to OmeGo. In contrast, cod liver oil had no impact on any measure of inflammation. A guinea pig model of mild intraperitoneal eosinophilia showed a significant reduction in eosinophil activity by OmeGo, assessed by chemotaxis and chemokinesis. Apolipoprotein A-IV, an endogenous human protein with anti-inflammatory actions, showed a similar but numerically lower effect. OmeGo therefore combines a consistent antieosinophilic action with the known anti-inflammatory effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Proof-of-concept studies in asthma are warranted.

pharmacological evaluation


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education

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

Volume 50, Issue 3

Issue Highlights

Using e-learning tools in biochemistry teaching for undergraduate medical students in multicultural environment in Ukraine during COVID-19 crisis

Svitlana Volodarets, Nataliia Chernousova, Hanna Peleshenko ,Hanna Maslak, Anastasiia Savchenko, Olha Netronina

First published: 01 April 2022

Through the special situation like the COVID-2019 lockdown, interactive techniques play a prime role in the study process. The strategy of lockdown ways of higher education was provided in Ukraine as well as in other countries since March 2020. Our investigation was performed at the Department of Biochemistry and Medical Chemistry of Dnipro State Medical University during the first lockdown of COVID-19 from March to June 2020. The main aim of the research was the evaluation of the students’ attitudes to studying Biochemistry using Google classrooms and Moodle. Four hundred and sixty-three students studying in English, French, and Ukrainian took part in the survey. Our results reveal that majority of the students found Google classrooms and Moodle as useful e-learning tools. However, questions dealing with the technical issues of using the Google classrooms on laptops and mobile phones and submitting the replies to the Google classrooms cause difficulties among the students.



Teaching the process of science through COVID-19 pandemic themes

Meghan Ward, Fiona Rawle

First published: 16 March 2022

Several predominant themes have emerged during the COVID-19 global pandemic that intersect with the nature and process of science. This paper identifies three such themes and briefly explores how they can be used as case studies and narrative cornerstones in teaching and learning. The themes include: (1) the understanding that science is cumulative and ever-changing, meaning that new findings may cause us to reconsider previous understandings; (2) the importance of citation tracking in the process of science; and (3) the need for accessible and purposeful science communication.


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) 100973
Autophagy in liver diseases: A review
by Qian, Huia; Chao, Xiaojuan; Williams, Jessicaa; Fulte, Sam; Li, Tiangang; Yang, Ling; Ding, Wen-Xing


Should you have a proposal or an idea for a thematic issue for Molecular Aspects of Medicine, please complete the thematic issue proposal form and send it to Dr. Angelo Azzi (angelo.azzi@tufts.edu)