IUBMB Journal Highlights | March 2023

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 75, Issue 3IUBMB Vol 75 No 2

Issue Highlights

Associations between the polymorphisms of main components in PI3K/Akt pathway and risk of diabetic kidney disease: A meta-analysis

Hang Fu, Congcong Guo, Jing Zhang, Lusi Xu, Shan Jiang, Siyi Guo, Qiqi Sheng, Junyu Zhao, Lin Liao

First published: 01 March 2023


Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is a severe microvascular complication frequently associated with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus. The objective of this work was to evaluate the relevance of PI3K/Akt pathway polymorphisms and DKD susceptibility by a meta-analysis.


Case–control studies related to the relationship between PI3K/Akt pathway polymorphisms and DKD risk were searched from Pubmed, Embase, Cochrane Library, SINOMED, CNKI, and Wanfang databases. Statistical analysis and heterogeneity test were conducted by Review Manager 5.4.


Totally, 52 eligible studies were enrolled, including seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for four genes in the PI3K/AKT pathway (GNB3: rs5443; eNOS: rs1799983, rs869109213, rs2070744; IL-6: rs1800795, rs1800796; TNFα: rs1800629). The “M” allele of eNOS rs1799983 was related to the increased risk of DKD under random effects model, especially in Asian population (Overall:M vs. W: I2 = 75%, OR = 1.29, 95%CI 1.07–1.56; MM + WM vs. WW: I2 = 75%, OR = 1.50, 95%CI 1.21–1.86). The “M” allele of eNOS rs869109213 was implicated with higher prevalence of DKD under random effects model, especially in Asian population (Overall:M vs. W: I2 = 63%, OR = 1.43, 95%CI 1.22–1.68; MM + WM vs. WW: I2 = 50%, OR = 1.36, 95%CI 1.16–1.58; MM vs. WM + WW: I2 = 59%, OR = 2.20, 95%CI 1.41–3.43). The “M” allele of eNOS rs2070744 was implicated with higher prevalence of DKD under random effects model, especially in Indian population (Overall: M vs. W: I2 = 47%, OR = 1.35, 95%CI 1.15–1.59; MM + WM vs. WW: I2 = 45%, OR = 1.32, 95%CI 1.07–1.62; MM vs. WM + WW: I2 = 65%, OR = 2.29, 95%CI 1.39–3.77). The “M” allele of IL-6 rs1800796 was predominately associated with higher DKD risks under random effects model, especially in Asian population (Overall: M versus W: I2 = 23%, OR = 1.49, 95%CI 1.21–1.84; MM + WM vs. WW: I2 = 1%, OR = 1.43, 95%CI 1.15–1.77; MM + WM vs. WW: I2 = 71%, OR = 2.77, 95%CI 1.09–7.06).


This meta-analysis indicated that polymorphisms in the PI3K/Akt pathway in eNOS rs1799983, rs869109213, rs2070744, and IL-6 rs1800796 were related to the increased risk of DKD.

2-Deoxy-D-glucose simultaneously targets glycolysis and Wnt/β-catenin signaling to inhibit cervical cancer progression

Min Su, Shidong Shan, Yang Gao, Mengyuan Dai, Hua Wang, Can He, Mengna Zhao, Ziyan Liang, Shimeng Wan, Junyuan Yang, Hongbing Cai

First published: 21 February 2023

Cervical cancer is one of the most common female malignant tumors, with typical cancer metabolism characteristics of increased glycolysis flux and lactate accumulation. 2-Deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) is a glycolysis inhibitor that acts on hexokinase, the first rate-limiting enzyme in the glycolysis pathway. In this research, we demonstrated that 2-DG effectively reduced glycolysis and impaired mitochondrial function in cervical cancer cell lines HeLa and SiHa. Cell function experiments revealed that 2-DG significantly inhibited cell growth, migration, and invasion, and induced G0/G1 phase arrest at non-cytotoxic concentrations. In addition, we found that 2-DG down-regulated Wingless-type (Wnt)/β-catenin signaling. Mechanistically, 2-DG accelerated the degradation of β-catenin protein, which resulted in the decrease of β-catenin expression in both nucleus and cytoplasm. The Wnt agonist lithium chloride and β-catenin overexpression vector could partially reverse the inhibition of malignant phenotype by 2-DG. These data suggested that 2-DG exerted its anti-cancer effects on cervical cancer by co-targeting glycolysis and Wnt/β-catenin signaling. As expected, the combination of 2-DG and Wnt inhibitor synergistically inhibited cell growth. It is noteworthy that, down-regulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling also inhibited glycolysis, indicating a similar positive feedback regulation between glycolysis and Wnt/β-catenin signaling. In conclusion, we investigated the molecular mechanism by which 2-DG inhibits the progression of cervical cancer in vitro, elucidated the interregulation between glycolysis and Wnt/β-catenin signaling, and preliminarily explored the effect of combined targeting of glycolysis and Wnt/β-catenin signaling on cell proliferation, which provides more possibilities for the formulation of subsequent clinical treatment strategies.




New Issue: Volume 49, Issue 1BioFactors cover

Issue Highlights

Mechanisms of cancer cell death induction by triptolide

Ali Hamid AbdulHussein, Muataz Mohammed Al-Taee, Zahra Abdul Radih, Dhuha Salman Aljuboory, Zainab Qasim Mohammed, Tabarak Sami Hashesh, Yassine Riadi, Salema K. Hadrawi, Masoud Najafi

First Published: 06 March 2023

Drug resistance is a hot topic issue in cancer research and therapy. Although cancer therapy including radiotherapy and anti-cancer drugs can kill malignant cells within the tumor, cancer cells can develop a wide range of mechanisms to resist the toxic effects of anti-cancer agents. Cancer cells may provide some mechanisms to resist oxidative stress and escape from apoptosis and attack by the immune system. Furthermore, cancer cells may resist senescence, pyroptosis, ferroptosis, necroptosis, and autophagic cell death by modulating several critical genes. The development of these mechanisms leads to resistance to anti-cancer drugs and also radiotherapy. Resistance to therapy can increase mortality and reduce survival following cancer therapy. Thus, overcoming mechanisms of resistance to cell death in malignant cells can facilitate tumor elimination and increase the efficiency of anti-cancer therapy. Natural-derived molecules are intriguing agents that may be suggested to be used as an adjuvant in combination with other anticancer drugs or radiotherapy to sensitize cancer cells to therapy with at least side effects. This paper aims to review the potential of triptolide for inducing various types of cell death in cancer cells. We review the induction or resistance to different cell death mechanisms such as apoptosis, autophagic cell death, senescence, pyroptosis, ferroptosis, and necrosis following the administration of triptolide. We also review the safety and future perspectives for triptolide and its derivatives in experimental and human studies. The anticancer potential of triptolide and its derivatives may make them effective adjuvants for enhancing tumor suppression in combination with anticancer therapy.



Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry

New Issue: Volume 70, Issue 1BAB cover

Issue Highlights

Design and experimental study on closed-loop process of preparing chitosan from crab shells

Huiming Wang, Huien Zhang, Liping Liu, Kunqin Ma, Jinqin Huang, Jian Zhang

First published: 17 February 2023

The purpose of this article is to design a green and comprehensive utilization process for preparing chitosan from crab shells. Glutamate acid was used as a decalcifying agent for crab shells, and the mixed solution of potassium hydroxide/isopropanol was used for deproteinization and deacetylation to prepare chitosan. Glutamic acid and isopropanol could be recovered for recycling. At the same time, calcium carbonate and protein in crab shells were converted into calcium hydrogen phosphate and compound fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, respectively. The prepared chitosan was characterized by Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), x-ray diffraction (XRD), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and its deacetylation degree and viscosity average molecular weight were 88.7% ± 0.68% and 792.1 ± 10.82 kDa, respectively. The recoveries of glutamic acid and isopropanol were 95.56% ± 1.39% and 88.14% ± 1.13%, respectively. The prepared chitosan has large molecular weight and deacetylation degree, controllable production cost, comprehensive utilization of crab shell components, and greatly reduced waste emissions.




Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education

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

Volume 51, Issue 1

Issue Highlights

A bacterial genome assembly and annotation laboratory using a virtual machine

Ellina Trofimova, Shahla Asgharzadeh Kangachar, Karen D. Weynberg, Robert D. Willows, Paul R. Jaschke

First published: 03 March 2023

With the global increase of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains, there is an urgent need for new methods of tackling the issue. Genomic analysis of bacterial strains can help to understand their virulence and antibiotic resistance profile. Bioinformatic skills are in great demand across the biological sciences. We designed a workshop that allows university students to learn the process of genome assembly using command-line tools within a virtual machine on a Linux operating system. We use Illumina and Nanopore short and long-read raw sequences to reveal the advantages and disadvantages of short, long, and hybrid assembly methods. The workshop teaches how to assess read and assembly quality, perform genome annotation, and analyze pathogenicity, antibiotic and phage resistance. The workshop is intended for a five-week teaching period and is concluded by a student poster presentation assessment.



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 91 (June 2023) 101151
Protein structure-based in-silico approaches to drug discovery: Guide to COVID-19 therapeutics

by Yash Gupta, Oleksandr V. Savytskyi, Matt Coban, Amoghavarsha Venugopal, Vasili Pleqi, Caleb A. Weber, Rohit Chitale, Ravi Durvasula, Christopher Hopkins, Prakasha Kempaiah, Thomas R. Caulfield


Aspects of Molecular Medicine

Molecular Aspects of Medicine cover

Volume 1 (2023) 100002
Rapid isothermal point-of-care test for screening of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)

by Jean-Marc Zingg, Yu-Ping Yang, Spencer Seely, Pratibha Joshi, Md Harun Or Roshid, Fabiola Iribarren Latasa, Gregory O’Connor, Jennifer Alfaro, Eduardo Riquelme, Sebastian Bernales, Emre Dikici, Sapna Deo, Sylvia Daunert



First articles are online! Enjoy free access to the first articles published in IUBMB’s new open access journal, Aspects of Molecular Medicine.