IUBMB Journals

IUBMB Journal Highlights

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

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New Issue: Volume 73, Issue 8IUBMB life cover

Issue Highlights

William “Bill” Joseph Whelan, D.Sc., FRS
November 14, 1924 to June 5, 2021

Angelo Azzi, Sandra Black, Sylvia Daunert | First published: 24 June 2021

The lethal internal face of the coronaviruses: Kidney tropism of the SARS, MERS, and COVID19 viruses

Roza Motavalli, Walid Kamal Abdelbasset, Heshu Sulaiman Rahman, Muhammad Harun Achmad, Nataliya Klunko Sergeevna, Angelina Olegovna Zekiy, Ali Adili, Farhad Motavalli Khiavi, Faroogh Marofi, Mehdi Yousefi, Shadi Ghoreishizadeh, Navid Shomali, Jalal Etemadi, Mostafa Jarahian

SARS-CoV causes proteinuria and renal impairment or failure. The SARS-CoV was identified in the distal convoluted tubules of the kidney of infected patients. Also, renal dysfunction was observed in numerous cases of MERS-CoV infection. And recently, during the 2019-nCoV pandemic, it was found that the novel coronavirus not only induces acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) but also can induce damages in various organs including the liver, heart, and kidney. The kidney tissue and its cells are targeted massively by the coronaviruses due to the abundant presence of ACE2 and Dpp4 receptors on kidney cells. These receptors are characterized as the main route of coronavirus entry to the victim cells. Renal failure due to massive viral invasion can lead to undesirable complications and enhanced mortality rate, thus more attention should be paid to the pathology of coronaviruses in the kidney.

Kidney tropism


Selectively targeting cancer stem cells: Current and novel therapeutic strategies and approaches in the effective eradication of cancer

Seyed-Alireza Esmaeili, Shamim Sahranavard, Astireh Salehi, Vahid Bagheri

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) as a small subset of neoplastic cells with tumor-initiating capability, self-renewal capacity, and pluripotency due to their pivotal role in tumor initiation, growth, progression, maintenance, invasion, metastasis, and relapse, as well as resistance to anticancer drugs are very appealing targets for cancer therapies. Therefore, targeting CSCs through their metabolism and using immunotherapy and microRNAs (miRNAs) besides classical chemo- and radiotherapy may exert better therapeutic effects in the effective eradication of cancer.

Targeting Cancer Stem Cells


Urinary proteomic analysis to identify a potential protein biomarker panel for the diagnosis of tuberculosis

Liguo Liu, Jiaheng Deng, Qianting Yang, Candong Wei, Bo Liu, Haoran Zhang, Henan Xin, Shouguo Pan, Zisen Liu, Dakuan Wang, Yu Pang, Xinchun Chen, Lei Gao, Jianhua Zheng, Rongmei Liu, Qi Jin

Rapid and accurate diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) is one of the most direct means to reduce the incidence of TB. Here urinary proteomic profiling of TB patients was performed (Figure), and a clinically-useful disease marker panel was established and validated. A three-protein combination out of the five-protein panel (namely P22352, Q9P121, P15151, Q13291, and Q8NDA2) exhibited sensitivity rate of 82.7% in the diagnosis of TB and specificity rate of 92.3 % for the diagnosis of TB from the latent TB category. The results provided preliminary evidence that this biomarker panel could probably be a novel TB diagnostic biomarker in clinical application.

(A) non-TB control (HC) group; (B) tuberculosis (TB) patients.

TB diagnostic biomarker




Autophagy in Health and Disease IUBMB life cover

GUEST EDITOR:   Ruey-Hwa Chen (Institute of Biological Chemistry, Academia Sinica, Taiwan)
Manuscripts should be submitted by 10 September 2021
Expected issue publication will be February 2022

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

GUEST EDITOR:   Xiangya Ding, Nanjing Medical University
Manuscripts should be submitted by 30 September 2021
Expected issue publication will be early 2022

                                  Proteinopathies in Neurodegenerative Diseases: Perspectives on Aging, Genetics, Protein Folding, and Cell Therapy IUBMB life cover

GUEST EDITORS:   David Blum (Lille Cedex), Cheng-ting Chien (Academia Sinica), Yung-Feng Liao (Academia Sinica)
Manuscripts should be submitted by 30 September 2021
Expected issue publication will be March 2022

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

GUEST EDITORS:   Nikos Karamanos (Univ. of Patras), Sylvie Ricard-Blum (Univ. of Lyon), Dimitris Kletsas (NCSR Demokritos, Athens)
Manuscripts should be submitted by 31 October 2021
Expected issue publication will be March 2022

                                  Cofactors Assembly and Function in Health and Disease IUBMB life cover

GUEST EDITORS:   Francesco Bonomi (University of Milan), Maria Barile (University of Bari Aldo Moro), Stefania Iametti (University of Milan)
Manuscripts should be submitted by 30 October 2021
Expected issue publication will be early 2022


See all the new IUBMB Life Virtual Issues here



Biofactors coverNew Special Issue: Volume 47, Issue 3

Pulmonary fibrosis: Therapeutic and mechanistic insights into the role of phytochemicals

Seyede Atefe Hosseini, Fatemeh Zahedipour, Thozhukat Sathyapalan, Tannaz Jamialahmadi and Amirhossein Sahebkar

Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is the devastating consequence of various inflammatory diseases of the lung. PF leads to a reduction of lung function, respiratory failure, and death. Several molecular pathways are involved in PF, such as inflammatory cytokines including tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), tumor necrosis factor β1 (TNFβ1), interleukin 6 (IL-6), and interleukin 4 (IL-4), reactive oxygen species, matrix metalloproteases, and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β). Targeting these processes involved in the progression of PF is essential for the treatment of this disease. Natural products, including plant extracts and active compound that directly target the processes involved in PF, could be suitable therapeutic options with less adverse effects. In the present study, we reviewed the protective effects and the therapeutic role of various bioactive compounds from plants in PF management.

Pulmonary fibrosis

The role of exosomal non-coding RNAs in aging-related diseases

Sanam Dolati, Seyed Kazem Shakouri, Neda Dolatkhah, Mehdi Yousefi, Farhad Jadidi-Niaragh and Sarvin Sanaie

Aging is a biological process caused by the accumulation of senescent cells with a permanent proliferative arrest. To the influence of aging on human life expectancy, there is essential for new biomarkers which possibly will assistance in recognizing age-associated pathologies. Exosomes, which are cell-secreted nanovesicles, make available a new biomarker detection and therapeutic approach for the transfer of different molecules with high capacity. Recently, non-coding RNAs (ncRNA) which are contained in exosomes have developed as important molecules regulating the complexity of aging and relevant human diseases. The discovery of ncRNA provided perceptions into an innovative regulatory platform that could interfere with cellular senescence. The non-coding transcriptome includes a different of RNA species, spanning from short ncRNAs (<200 nucleotides) to long ncRNAs, that are >200 bp long. Upgraded evidence displays that targeting ncRNAs possibly will influence senescence pathways. In this article, we will address ncRNAs that participated in age-related and cellular senescence diseases. Growing conception of ncRNAs in the aging process possibly will be responsible for new understandings into the improvement of age-related diseases and elongated life span.



Experimental and clinical reports on anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immunomodulatory effects of Curcuma longa and curcumin, an updated and comprehensive review

Arghavan Memarzia, Mohammad R. Khazdair, Sepideh Behrouz, Zahra Gholamnezhad, Maryam Jafarnezhad, Saeideh Saadat and Mohammad H. Boskabady

Curcuma longa (C. longa) or turmeric is a plant with a long history of use in traditional medicine, especially for treating inflammatory conditions C. longa and its main constituent, curcumin (CUR), showed various pharmacological effects such as antioxidant and anti-microbial properties. The updated knowledge of antiinflammatory, antioxidant, and immunomodulatory effects of C. longa and CUR is provided in this review article. Pharmacological effects of C. longa, and CUR, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immunomodulatory properties, were searched using various databases and appropriate keywords until September 2020. Various studies showed anti-inflammatory effects of C. longa and CUR, including decreased white blood cell, neutrophil, and eosinophil numbers, and its protective effects on serumlevels of inflammatory mediators such as phospholipase A2 and total protein in different inflammatory disorders. The antioxidant effects of C. longa and CUR were also reported in several studies. The plant extracts and CUR decreased malondialdehyde and nitric oxide levels but increased thiol, superoxide dismutase, and catalase levels in oxidative stress conditions. Treatment with C. longa and CUR also improved immunoglobulin E (Ig)E, proinflammatory cytokine interleukin 4 (IL)-4, transforming growth factor-beta, IL-17, interferon-gamma levels, and type 1/type 2 helper cells (Th1)/(Th2) ratio in conditions with disturbance in the immune system. Therefore C. longa and CUR showed anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immunomodulatory effects, indicating a potential therapeutic effect of the plant and its constituent, CUR, for treating of inflammatory, oxidative, and immune dysregulation disorders.

Curcuma longa and curcumin


Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry

Volume 68, Issue 3Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry

Issue Highlights

DNA–RNA complementation on silicon wafer for thyroid cancer determination

Subash C.B. Gopinath, Shijin Xuan

One of the current issues with thyroid tumor is early diagnosis as it makes the higher possibility of curing. This research was focused to detect and quantify the level of specific target sequence complementation of miR-222 with capture DNA sequence on interdigitated electrode (IDE) sensor. The aluminum electrode with the gap and finger sizes of 10 µm was fabricated on silicon wafer, further the surface was amine-functionalized for accommodating carboxylated-DNA probe. With DNA-target RNA complementation, the detection limit was attained to be 1 fM as estimated by a linear regression analysis [y = 1.5325x – 2.1171 R² = 0.9065] and the sensitivity was at the similar level. Current responses were higher by increasing the target RNA sequence concentrations. Control experiments with mismatched/noncomplementary sequences were failed to complement the capture DNA sequence immobilized on IDE, indicating the specific target validation. This research helps diagnosing and identifying the progression with thyroid tumor and miRNA being a potential “marker” in atypia diagnosis.

Downregulation of gap junctional intercellular communication and connexin 43 expression by bisphenol A in human granulosa cells

Ta-Chin Lin, Kai-Hung Wang, Kuo-Hsiang Chuang, An-Pei Kao, Tsung-Cheng Kuo

Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) is the transfer of ions, metabolites, and second messengers between neighboring cells through intercellular junctions. Connexin 43 (Cx43) was found to be the type of gap junction protein responsible for human granulosa cells (GCs) and oocyte communication, which is required for folliculogenesis and oocyte maturation. Bisphenol A (BPA), an estrogenic-like endocrine-disrupting chemical, is one of the most widely produced chemicals around the world. There are reports that the chemical might cause endometrial tumorigenesis and several female reproductive disorders. This study demonstrated that cell culture medium, containing antioxidants (N-acetyl-l-cysteine and l-ascorbic acid-2-phosphate), was able to enhance the survival and self-renewal of GCs. In addition, we found that BPA at environmentally relevant concentration (10−7 M) reduced Cx43 expression and GJIC in GCs through estrogen receptor and mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways. The results of this study not only reveal the reproductive toxicity of BPA but also provide possible mechanisms by which BPA inhibited GJIC in GCs.


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education

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

Volume 49, Issue 4

Issue Highlights

Mock grant application roleplay as an alternative to lab-based activities in molecular biology

Many universities resort to online teaching due to COVID-19 pandemic. It is a challenging endeavor, especially in Molecular Biology courses that require lab access. Mock grant application roleplay is one alternative to lab-based activities. Students are engaged in three aspects: (i) targeted literature review, (ii) research proposal writing and (iii) 5-min project pitching. The design of this module is flexible and, other lab-based courses can adopt it. This module encourages undergraduate students to explore the lab techniques they learnt and concisely present their research proposal.

A guided-inquiry investigation of genetic variants using Oxford nanopore sequencing for an undergraduate molecular biology laboratory course

Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) has become an important tool in the biological sciences and has a growing number of applications across medical fields. Currently, few undergraduate programs provide training in the design and implementation of NGS applications. Here, we describe an inquiry-based laboratory exercise for a college-level molecular biology laboratory course that uses real-time MinION deep sequencing and bioinformatics to investigate characteristic genetic variants found in cancer cell-lines. The overall goal for students was to identify non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell-lines based on their unique genomic profiles. The units described in this laboratory highlight core principles in multiplex PCR primer design, real-time deep sequencing, and bioinformatics analysis for genetic variants. We found that the MinION device is an appropriate, feasible tool that provides a comprehensive, hands-on NGS experience for undergraduates. Student evaluations demonstrated increased confidence in using molecular techniques and enhanced understanding of NGS concepts. Overall, this exercise provides a pedagogical tool for incorporating NGS approaches in the teaching laboratory as way of enhancing students’ comprehension of genomic sequence analysis. Further, this NGS lab module can easily be added to a variety of lab-based courses to help undergraduate students learn current DNA sequencing methods with limited effort and cost.


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 77, February 2021, 100897
Immunometabolic control of trained immunity
by Riksen N.P.,Netea M.G.