The Current Opinion journals were developed out of the recognition that it is increasingly difficult for specialists to keep up to date with the expanding volume of information published in their subject. Elsevier’s Current Opinion journals comprise of 26 leading titles in life sciences and adjacent fields.

Current Opinion in Cell Biology

5-Year Impact Factor: 8.684
Issues per year: 6 issues
Editorial Board

Current Opinion in Cell Biology

Current Opinion in Cell Biology aims to stimulate scientifically grounded, interdisciplinary, multi-scale debate and exchange of ideas. It contains polished, concise and timely reviews and opinions, with particular emphasis on those articles published in the past two years. In addition to describing recent trends, the authors are encouraged to give their subjective opinion of the topics discussed.

In Current Opinion in Cell Biology we help the reader by providing in a systematic manner:

1. The views of experts on current advances in their field in a clear and readable form.
2. Evaluations of the most interesting papers, annotated by experts, from the great wealth of original publications

Current Opinion in Cell Biology will serve as an invaluable source of information for researchers, lecturers, teachers, professionals, policy makers and students.

Division of the subject into sections

The subject of Cell Biology is divided into six themed sections, each of which is reviewed once a year.

Cell architecture
Cell signalling
Cell Nucleus
Membrane Trafficking
Cell dynamics
Cell differentiation and disease

Selection of topics to be reviewed

Section Editors, who are major authorities in the field, are appointed by the Editors of the journal. They divide their section into a number of topics, ensuring that the field is comprehensively covered and that all issues of current importance are emphasised. Section Editors commission reviews from authorities on each topic that they have selected. The Editorial Board provides support to the Editors and the Section Editors with their comments and suggestions on names and topics.

Review articles in Current Opinion in Cell Biology are by invitation only.

Review Articles

Authors write short review articles in which they present recent developments in their subject, emphasizing the aspects that, in their opinion, are most important. In addition, they provide short annotations to the papers that they consider to be most interesting from all those published in their topic over the previous two years.

Editorial Overview

Section Editors write a short overview at the beginning of the section to introduce the reviews and to draw the reader's attention to any particularly interesting developments.

This successful format has made Current Opinion in Cell Biology one of the most highly regarded and highly cited review journals in the field.

Best Cited over the last year.

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Biogenesis and secretion of exosomes

Although observed for several decades, the release of membrane-enclosed vesicles by cells into their surrounding environment has been the subject of increasing interest in the past few years, which led to the creation, in 2012, of a scientific society dedicated to the subject: the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles. Convincing evidence that vesicles allow exchange of complex information fuelled this rise in interest. But it has also become clear that different types of secreted…

Volume 29, Issue 1, 01 January 2014, Pp 116-125
Joanna Kowal | Mercedes Tkach | Clotilde Théry

Wnt signaling in stem and cancer stem cells

The functional versatility of Wnt/β-catenin signaling can be seen by its ability to act in stem cells of the embryo and of the adult as well as in cancer stem cells. During embryogenesis, stem cells demonstrate a requirement for β-catenin in mediating the response to Wnt signaling for their maintenance and transition from a pluripotent state. In adult stem cells, Wnt signaling functions at various hierarchical levels to contribute to specification of different tissues. This has raised the…

Volume 25, Issue 2, 01 January 2013, Pp 254-264
Jane D. Holland | Alexandra Klaus | Alistair N. Garratt | Walter Birchmeier

AMPK: Positive and negative regulation, and its role in whole-body energy homeostasis

© 2014. The AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a sensor of energy status that, when activated by metabolic stress, maintains cellular energy homeostasis by switching on catabolic pathways and switching off ATP-consuming processes. Recent results suggest that activation of AMPK by the upstream kinase LKB1 in response to nutrient lack occurs at the surface of the lysosome. AMPK is also crucial in regulation of whole body energy balance, particularly by mediating effects of hormones acting on…

Volume 33, Issue , 01 January 2015, Pp 1-7
D. Grahame Hardie

ROS-dependent signal transduction

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are no longer viewed as just a toxic by-product of mitochondrial respiration, but are now appreciated for their role in regulating a myriad of cellular signaling pathways. H 2 O 2 , a type of ROS, is a signaling molecule that confers target specificity through thiol oxidation. Although redox-dependent signaling has been implicated in numerous cellular processes, the mechanism by which the ROS signal is transmitted to its target protein in the…

Volume 33, Issue , 01 April 2015, Pp 8-13
Colleen R. Reczek | Navdeep S. Chandel

Regulation of epithelial-mesenchymal and mesenchymal-epithelial transitions by micrornas

Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and the reverse process, mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET), are essential during development and in the regulation of stem cell pluripotency, yet these processes are also activated in pathological contexts, such as in fibrosis and cancer progression. In EMT and MET, diverse signaling pathways cooperate in the initiation and progression of the EMT and MET programs, through regulation at transcriptional, posttranscriptional, translational, and…

Volume 25, Issue 2, 01 January 2013, Pp 200-207
Samy Lamouille | Deepa Subramanyam | Robert Blelloch | Rik Derynck

Recent developments in biased agonism

The classic paradigm of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) activation was based on the understanding that agonist binding to a receptor induces or stabilizes a conformational change to an 'active' conformation. In the past decade, however, it has been appreciated that ligands can induce distinct 'active' receptor conformations with unique downstream functional signaling profiles. Building on the initial recognition of the existence of such 'biased ligands', recent years have witnessed…

Volume 27, Issue 1, 01 April 2014, Pp 18-24
James W. Wisler | Kunhong Xiao | Alex R B Thomsen | Robert J. Lefkowitz

Modes of cancer cell invasion and the role of the microenvironment

© 2015 The Authors. Metastasis begins with the invasion of tumor cells into the stroma and migration toward the blood stream. Human pathology studies suggest that tumor cells invade collectively as strands, cords and clusters of cells into the stroma, which is dramatically reorganized during cancer progression. Cancer cells in intravital mouse models and in vitro display many 'modes' of migration, from single isolated cells with round or elongated phenotypes to loosely-/non-adherent 'streams'…

Volume 36, Issue , 01 October 2015, Pp 13-22
Andrew G. Clark | Danijela Matic Vignjevic

Rab GTPase regulation of membrane identity

A fundamental question in cell biology is how cells determine membrane compartment identity and the directionality with which cargoes pass through the secretory and endocytic pathways. The discovery of so-called 'Rab cascades' provides a satisfying molecular mechanism that helps to resolve this paradox. One Rab GTPase has the ability to template the localization of the subsequent acting Rab GTPase along a given transport pathway. Thus, in addition to determining compartment identity and…

Volume 25, Issue 4, 30 April 2013, Pp 414-419
Suzanne R. Pfeffer

Rho GTPase signalling in cell migration

© 2015. Cells migrate in multiple different ways depending on their environ ment, which includes the extracellular matrix composition, interactions with other cells, and chemical stimuli. For all types of cell migration, Rho GTPases play a central role, although the relative contribution of each Rho GTPase depends on the environment and cell type. Here, I review recent advances in our understanding of how Rho GTPases contribute to different types of migration, comparing lamellipodium-driven…

Volume 36, Issue , 01 October 2015, Pp 103-112
Anne J. Ridley

Signaling pathway cooperation in TGF-β-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Transdifferentiation of epithelial cells into cells with mesenchymal properties and appearance, that is, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), is essential during development, and occurs in pathological contexts, such as in fibrosis and cancer progression. Although EMT can be induced by many extracellular ligands, TGF-β and TGF-β-related proteins have emerged as major inducers of this transdifferentiation process in development and cancer. Additionally, it is…

Volume 31, Issue , 01 December 2014, Pp 56-66
Rik Derynck | Baby Periyanayaki Muthusamy | Koy Y. Saeteurn

Integrins in mechanotransduction

Forces acting on cells govern many important regulatory events during development, normal physiology, and disease processes. Integrin-mediated adhesions, which transmit forces between the extracellular matrix and the actin cytoskeleton, play a central role in transducing effects of forces to regulate cell functions. Recent work has led to major insights into the molecular mechanisms by which these adhesions respond to forces to control cellular signaling pathways. We briefly summarize effects…

Volume 25, Issue 5, 01 October 2013, Pp 613-618
Tyler D. Ross | Brian G. Coon | Sanguk Yun | Nicolas Baeyens | Keiichiro Tanaka | Mingxing Ouyang | Martin A. Schwartz

Lipid droplet biogenesis

Lipid droplets (LDs) are found in most cells, where they play central roles in energy and membrane lipid metabolism. The de novo biogenesis of LDs is a fascinating, yet poorly understood process involving the formation of a monolayer bound organelle from a bilayer membrane. Additionally, large LDs can form either by growth of existing LDs or by the combination of smaller LDs through several distinct mechanisms. Here, we review recent insights into the molecular process governing LD biogenesis…

Volume 29, Issue 1, 01 January 2014, Pp 39-45
Florian Wilfling | Joel T. Haas | Tobias C. Walther | Robert V Farese Jr

mTOR signaling in cellular and organismal energetics

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Mammalian TOR (mTOR) signaling controls growth, metabolism and energy homeostasis in a cell autonomous manner. Recent findings indicate that mTOR signaling in one tissue can also affect other organs thereby affecting whole body metabolism and energy homeostasis in a non-cell autonomous manner. It is thus not surprising that mTOR signaling mediates aging and is often deregulated in metabolic disorders, such as obesity, diabetes and cancer. This review discusses the…

Volume 33, Issue 1, 01 January 2015, Pp 55-66
Verena Albert | Michael N. Hall

Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and the astrocyte intermediate filament system in diseases of the central nervous system

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is the hallmark intermediate filament (IF; also known as nanofilament) protein in astrocytes, a main type of glial cells in the central nervous system (CNS). Astrocytes have a range of control and homeostatic functions in health and disease. Astrocytes assume a reactive phenotype in acute CNS trauma, ischemia, and in neurodegenerative diseases. This coincides with an upregulation and rearrangement of the IFs, which form a highly…

Volume 32, Issue , 01 February 2015, Pp 121-130
Elly M. Hol | Milos Pekny

Extracellular vesicles shuffling intercellular messages: For good or for bad

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. The release of extracellular vesicles (EVs) is a highly conserved process exploited by diverse organisms as a mode of intercellular communication. Vesicles of sizes ranging from 30 to 1000. nm, or even larger, are generated by blebbing of the plasma membrane (microvesicles) or formed in multivesicular endosomes (MVEs) to be secreted by exocytosis as exosomes. Exosomes, microvesicles and other EVs contain membrane and cytosolic components that include proteins, lipids and…

Volume 35, Issue , 01 August 2015, Pp 69-77
Alessandra Lo Cicero | Philip D. Stahl | Graça Raposo

Lysosome-related organelles: Unusual compartments become mainstream

Lysosome-related organelles (LROs) comprise a group of cell type-specific subcellular compartments with unique composition, morphology and structure that share some features with endosomes and lysosomes and that function in varied processes such as pigmentation, hemostasis, lung plasticity and immunity. In recent years, studies of genetic diseases in which LRO functions are compromised have provided new insights into the mechanisms of LRO biogenesis and the regulated secretion of LRO contents.…

Volume 25, Issue 4, 30 May 2013, Pp 495-505
Michael S. Marks | Harry F G Heijnen | Graça Raposo

ER-PM connections: Sites of information transfer and inter-organelle communication

Eukaryotic cells are divided into distinct membrane-bound organelles with unique identities and specialized metabolic functions. Communication between organelles must take place to regulate the size, shape, and composition of individual organelles, as well as to coordinate transport between organelles. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) forms an expansive membrane network that contacts and participates in crosstalk with several other organelles in the cell, most notably the plasma membrane (PM).…

Volume 25, Issue 4, 21 March 2013, Pp 434-442
Christopher J. Stefan | Andrew G. Manford | Scott D. Emr

The Hippo superhighway: Signaling crossroads converging on the Hippo/Yap pathway in stem cells and development

Tissue regeneration is vital to the form and function of an organ. At the core of an organs' ability to self-renew is the stem cell, which maintains homeostasis, and repopulates injured or aged tissue. Tissue damage can dramatically change the dimensions of an organ, and during regeneration, an organ must halt growth once the original tissue dimensions have been restored. Therefore, stem cells must give rise to the appropriate number of differentiated progeny to achieve homeostasis. How this…

Volume 25, Issue 2, 01 January 2013, Pp 247-253
Evan R. Barry | Fernando D. Camargo

The role and regulation of blebs in cell migration

Blebs are cellular protrusions that have been shown to be instrumental for cell migration in development and disease. Bleb expansion is driven by hydrostatic pressure generated in the cytoplasm by the contractile actomyosin cortex. The mechanisms of bleb formation thus fundamentally differ from the actin polymerization-based mechanisms responsible for lamellipodia expansion. In this review, we summarize recent findings relevant for the mechanics of bleb formation and the underlying molecular…

Volume 25, Issue 5, 01 October 2013, Pp 582-590
Ewa K. Paluch | Erez Raz

The role of protein dynamics in GPCR function: Insights from the β2AR and rhodopsin

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are versatile signaling proteins that mediate complex cellular responses to hormones and neurotransmitters. Recent advances in GPCR crystallography have provided inactive and active state structures for rhodopsin and the β 2 adrenergic receptor (β 2 AR). Although these structures suggest a two-state 'on-off' mechanism of receptor activation, other biophysical studies and observed signaling versatility suggest that GPCRs are highly dynamic and exist in a…

Volume 27, Issue 1, 01 April 2014, Pp 136-143
Aashish Manglik | Brian Kobilka

MicroRNAs: Regulators of neuronal fate

Mammalian neural development has been traditionally studied in the context of evolutionarily conserved signaling pathways and neurogenic transcription factors. Recent studies suggest that microRNAs, a group of highly conserved noncoding regulatory small RNAs also play essential roles in neural development and neuronal function. A part of their action in the developing nervous system is to regulate subunit compositions of BAF complexes (ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complexes), which appear…

Volume 25, Issue 2, 01 January 2013, Pp 215-221
Alfred X. Sun | Gerald R. Crabtree | Andrew S. Yoo

Long non-coding RNAs: Modulators of nuclear structure and function

Long non-coding (lnc)RNAs are emerging key factors in the regulation of various cellular processes. In the nucleus, these include the organization of nuclear sub-structures, the alteration of chromatin state, and the regulation of gene expression through the interaction with effector proteins and modulation of their activity. Collectively, lncRNAs form the core of attractive models explaining aspects of structural and dynamic regulation in the nucleus across time and space. Here we review…

Volume 26, Issue 1, 01 February 2014, Pp 10-18
Jan H. Bergmann | David L. Spector

The expanding significance of keratin intermediate filaments in normal and diseased epithelia

Intermediate filaments are assembled from a diverse group of evolutionary conserved proteins and are specified in a tissue-dependent, cell type-dependent, and context-dependent fashion in the body. Genetic mutations in intermediate filament proteins account for a large number of diseases, ranging from skin fragility conditions to cardiomyopathies and premature aging. Keratins, the epithelial-specific intermediate filaments, are now recognized as multi-faceted effectors in their native context.…

Volume 25, Issue 1, 01 February 2013, Pp 1-10
Xiaoou Pan | Ryan P. Hobbs | Pierre A. Coulombe

Targeting histone modifications - epigenetics in cancer

Cancer is one of the most common human diseases. It is long known that mutations in key regulator genes are hallmarks of all cancer types. Apart from these classical genetic pathways there is more and more evidence that also epigenetic alterations are crucially involved in tumourigenesis. In this review we discuss and summarise recent findings of mechanisms responsible for cancer formation apart from the classic genetic mutations. Furthermore, we show how epigenetic and genetic mechanisms could…

Volume 25, Issue 2, 01 January 2013, Pp 184-189
Tanja Waldmann | Robert Schneider

Mechanisms of spindle positioning: Cortical force generators in the limelight

Correct positioning of the spindle governs placement of the cytokinesis furrow and thus plays a crucial role in the partitioning of fate determinants and the disposition of daughter cells in a tissue. Converging evidence indicates that spindle positioning is often dictated by interactions between the plus-end of astral microtubules that emanate from the spindle poles and an evolutionary conserved cortical machinery that serves to pull on them. At the heart of this machinery lies a ternary…

Volume 25, Issue 6, 01 December 2013, Pp 741-748
Sachin Kotak | Pierre Gönczy