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 Chemical Biology

5-Year Impact Factor: 7.210
Issues per year: 6 issues
Editorial Board

Current Opinion in Chemical Biology

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. In Current Opinion in Chemical Biology, we help the reader by providing in a systematic manner:
1. The views of experts on current advances in chemical biology in a clear and readable form.
2. Evaluations of the most interesting papers, annotated by experts, from the great wealth of original publications.

Division of the subject into sections:
The subject of chemical biology is divided into themed sections which are reviewed regularly to keep them relevant. For 2015 they are:

  • Omics
  • Bioinorganic chemistry
  • Biocatalysis and Biotransformation
  • Next Generation Therapeutics
  • Molecular Imaging
  • Synthetic Biology
  • Synthetic Biomolecules
  • Energy
  • Mechanistic Biology

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.

Authors write short review articles in which they present recent developments in their subject, emphasising 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 year.

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 Chemical Biology one of the most highly regarded and highly cited review journals in the field.

Ethics in Publishing: General Statement
The Editor(s) and Publisher of this Journal believe that there are fundamental principles underlying scholarly or professional publishing. While this may not amount to a formal 'code of conduct', these fundamental principles with respect to the authors' paper are that the paper should: i) be the authors' own original work, which has not been previously published elsewhere, ii) reflect the authors' own research and analysis and do so in a truthful and complete manner, iii) properly credit the meaningful contributions of co-authors and co-researchers, iv) not be submitted to more than one journal for consideration, and v) be appropriately placed in the context of prior and existing research. Of equal importance are ethical guidelines dealing with research methods and research funding, including issues dealing with informed consent, research subject privacy rights, conflicts of interest, and sources of funding. While it may not be possible to draft a 'code' that applies adequately to all instances and circumstances, we believe it useful to outline our expectations of authors and procedures that the Journal will employ in the event of questions concerning author conduct. With respect to conflicts of interest, the Publisher now requires authors to declare any conflicts of interest that relate to papers accepted for publication in this Journal. A conflict of interest may exist when an author or the author's institution has a financial or other relationship with other people or organizations that may inappropriately influence the author's work. A conflict can be actual or potential and full disclosure to the Journal is the safest course. All submissions to the Journal must include disclosure of all relationships that could be viewed as presenting a potential conflict of interest. The Journal may use such information as a basis for editorial decisions and may publish such disclosures if they are believed to be important to readers in judging the manuscript. A decision may be made by the Journal not to publish on the basis of the declared conflict.

For more information, please refer to:

Best Cited over the last year.

Subscribe to RSS Sciverse Scopus

Metal-based anticancer chemotherapeutic agents

Since the discovery of the cisplatin antitumor activity, great efforts have focused on the rational design of metal-based anticancer agents that can be potentially used in cancer chemotherapy. Over the last four decades, a large number of metal complexes have been extensively investigated and evaluated in vitro and in vivo, and some of them were at different stages of clinical studies. Amongst these complexes, platinum (Pt II and Pt IV ), ruthenium (Ru II and Ru III ), gold (Au I and Au III )…

Volume 19, Issue 1, 01 January 2014, Pp 144-153
Nafees Muhammad | Zijian Guo

Hydrothermal conversion of biomass to fuels and energetic materials

Available biomass, preferentially residues, can be divided in two groups: biomass with a high or natural water content ('wet' or 'green' biomass) and biomass with low water content such as wood and straw. In 'dry' biomass gasification processes, originating in most coal processing technologies, biomass of low water content is necessary to avoid the energy loss by water evaporation. In contrast, hydrothermal processes need water as reaction medium; therefore, these processes are preferentially…

Volume 17, Issue 3, 01 June 2013, Pp 515-521
Andrea Kruse | Axel Funke | Maria Magdalena Titirici

Targeted delivery of platinum-based anticancer complexes

The most widely used anticancer drugs are platinum-based. Their efficacy might be improved by carriers which can transport large numbers of Pt centres, shield the drug from premature activation, and/or deliver Pt specifically to cancer cells using vectors which recognise specific targets. We describe recent progress using functionalized carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and nanorods, hollow Prussian blue (HPB), magnetic iron oxide and gold nanoparticles, liposomes, nanogels and polymers, as well as…

Volume 17, Issue 2, 01 April 2013, Pp 175-188
Jennifer S. Butler | Peter J. Sadler

Transcriptomics in the RNA-seq era

The transcriptomics field has developed rapidly with the advent of next-generation sequencing technologies. RNA-seq has now displaced microarrays as the preferred method for gene expression profiling.The comprehensive nature of the data generated has been a boon in terms of transcript identification but analysis challenges remain. Key among these problems is the development of suitable expression metrics for expression level comparisons and methods for identification of differentially expressed…

Volume 17, Issue 1, 01 February 2013, Pp 4-11
Paul A. McGettigan

Exploring bacterial lignin degradation

Plant biomass represents a renewable carbon feedstock that could potentially be used to replace a significant level of petroleum-derived chemicals. One major challenge in its utilization is that the majority of this carbon is trapped in the recalcitrant structural polymers of the plant cell wall. Deconstruction of lignin is a key step in the processing of biomass to useful monomers but remains challenging. Microbial systems can provide molecular information on lignin depolymerization as they…

Volume 19, Issue 1, 01 April 2014, Pp 1-7
Margaret E. Brown | Michelle C Y Chang

Protein conjugation with genetically encoded unnatural amino acids

The site-specific incorporation of unnatural amino acids with orthogonal chemical reactivity into proteins enables the synthesis of structurally defined protein conjugates. Amino acids containing ketone, azide, alkyne, alkene, and tetrazine side chains can be genetically encoded in response to nonsense and frameshift codons. These bio-orthogonal chemical handles allow precise control over the site and stoichiometry of conjugation, and have enabled medicinal chemistry-like optimization of the…

Volume 17, Issue 3, 01 June 2013, Pp 412-419
Chan Hyuk Kim | Jun Y. Axup | Peter G. Schultz

Recent achievements in developing the biocatalytic toolbox for chiral amine synthesis

Creating new activities or extending the scope of existing enzymes by protein engineering is a common trend in biocatalysis and in chiral amine synthesis specifically. For instance, an amine dehydrogenase that allows for the direct asymmetric amination of ketones with ammonia was created by mutagenesis of an l-amino acid dehydrogenase. Another trend in chiral amine chemistry is the development of strategies allowing for the synthesis of secondary amines. For example the smart choice of…

Volume 19, Issue 1, 01 January 2014, Pp 180-192
Hannes Kohls | Fabian Steffen-Munsberg | Matthias Höhne

On the development of new biocatalytic processes for practical pharmaceutical synthesis

Biocatalysis has established itself as a scalable and green technology for the production of a broad range of pharmaceutical APIs and intermediates. The number and scope of biocatalysts employed on large scale to deliver cost-advantaged and quality-advantaged processes to important substances continue to expand. This review discusses the recent developments in the field, including examples of processes leveraging hydrolases, reductases, transaminases, oxidases and other biocatalysts, focused on…

Volume 17, Issue 2, 01 April 2013, Pp 284-292
Gjalt W. Huisman | Steven J. Collier

Strategies for the discovery and engineering of enzymes for biocatalysis

Protein engineering is the most important method to overcome the limitations of natural enzymes as biocatalysts. The past few years have seen a tremendous increase in novel concepts to facilitate the design of mutant libraries for focused directed evolution mostly guided by advanced bioinformatic tools. In addition, advanced high-throughput methods were developed using, for example, FACS analysis or microfluidic systems. These achievements significantly facilitate the tailor-made design of…

Volume 17, Issue 2, 01 April 2013, Pp 215-220
Timo Davids | Marlen Schmidt | Dominique Böttcher | Uwe T. Bornscheuer

Targeting T cells to tumor cells using bispecific antibodies

The immune system, and in particular T cells, can be harnessed to treat cancer. Several bispecific T cell engaging antibodies of the BiTE ® format are in early or late-stage clinical development. These small recombinant antibody constructs effectively trigger killing of cancer cells by temporarily attached, polyclonal T cells. Blinatumomab, a CD19/CD3-bispecific BiTE ® antibody, has demonstrated high clinical activity in B cell leukemia and lymphoma patients. Three additional BiTE antibodies…

Volume 17, Issue 3, 01 June 2013, Pp 385-392
Stanley R. Frankel | Patrick A. Baeuerle

De novo enzymes by computational design

Computational enzyme design has emerged as a promising tool for generating made-to-order biocatalysts. In addition to improving the reliability of the design cycle, current efforts in this area are focusing on expanding the set of catalyzed reactions and investigating the structure and mechanism of individual designs. Although the activities of de novo enzymes are typically low, they can be significantly increased by directed evolution. Analysis of their evolutionary trajectories provides…

Volume 17, Issue 2, 01 April 2013, Pp 221-228
Hajo Kries | Rebecca Blomberg | Donald Hilvert

15 years of zebrafish chemical screening

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. In 2000, the first chemical screen using living zebrafish in a multi-well plate was reported. Since then, more than 60 additional screens have been published describing whole-organism drug and pathway discovery projects in zebrafish. To investigate the scope of the work reported in the last 14 years and to identify trends in the field, we analyzed the discovery strategies of 64 primary research articles from the literature. We found that zebrafish screens have expanded…

Volume 24, Issue , 01 February 2015, Pp 58-70
Andrew J. Rennekamp | Randall T. Peterson

Trans-Cyclooctene-a stable, voracious dienophile for bioorthogonal labeling

Discussed herein is the development and advancement of trans-cyclooctene as a tool for facilitating bioorthogonal labeling through reactions with s-tetrazines. While a number of strained alkenes have been shown to combine with tetrazines for applications in bioorthogonal labeling, trans-cyclooctene enables fastest reactivity at low concentration with rate constants in excess of k 2 =10 6 M -1 s -1 . In the present article, we describe advances in computation and synthesis that have enabled…

Volume 17, Issue 5, 01 October 2013, Pp 753-760
Ramajeyam Selvaraj | Joseph M. Fox

Advanced biofuel production by the yeast saccharomyces cerevisiae

Replacement of conventional transportation fuels with biofuels will require production of compounds that can cover the complete fuel spectrum, ranging from gasoline to kerosene. Advanced biofuels are expected to play an important role in replacing fossil fuels because they have improved properties compared with ethanol and some of these may have the energy density required for use in heavy duty vehicles, ships, and aviation. Moreover, advanced biofuels can be used as drop-in fuels in existing…

Volume 17, Issue 3, 01 June 2013, Pp 480-488
Nicolaas A. Buijs | Verena Siewers | Jens Nielsen

Advances in microalgae engineering and synthetic biology applications for biofuel production

Among the technologies being examined to produce renewable fuels, microalgae are viewed by many in the scientific community as having the greatest potential to become economically viable. Algae are capable of producing greater than 50,000. kg/acre/year of biomass [. 1]. Additionally, most algae naturally accumulate energy-dense oils that can easily be converted into transportation fuels. To reach economic parity with fossil fuels there are still several challenges. These include identifying…

Volume 17, Issue 3, 01 June 2013, Pp 489-495
Javier A. Gimpel | Elizabeth A. Specht | D. Ryan Georgianna | Stephen P. Mayfield

Next generation biofuel engineering in prokaryotes

Next-generation biofuels must be compatible with current transportation infrastructure and be derived from environmentally sustainable resources that do not compete with food crops. Many bacterial species have unique properties advantageous to the production of such next-generation fuels. However, no single species possesses all characteristics necessary to make high quantities of fuels from plant waste or CO 2 . Species containing a subset of the desired characteristics are used as starting…

Volume 17, Issue 3, 01 June 2013, Pp 462-471
Luisa S. Gronenberg | Ryan J. Marcheschi | James C. Liao

New enzyme insights drive advances in commercial ethanol production

Innovations at a small scale through enzyme discovery in the laboratory can have large scale impacts when rolled out in an industrial process, and this is evidenced in recent advances for commercial ethanol production. In the starch to ethanol processes, new enzyme product launches squeeze even more value from an already efficient process, as evidenced in new use of proteases for oil release and cellulases for downstream processing and ethanol yield. As for biomass to ethanol, diverse new…

Volume 19, Issue 1, 01 January 2014, Pp 162-170
Paul V. Harris | Feng Xu | Nathaniel E. Kreel | Connie Kang | Shiro Fukuyama

Target deconvolution techniques in modern phenotypic profiling

The past decade has seen rapid growth in the use of diverse compound libraries in classical phenotypic screens to identify modulators of a given process. The subsequent process of identifying the molecular targets of active hits, also called 'target deconvolution', is an essential step for understanding compound mechanism of action and for using the identified hits as tools for further dissection of a given biological process. Recent advances in 'omics' technologies, coupled with in silico…

Volume 17, Issue 1, 01 February 2013, Pp 118-126
Jiyoun Lee | Matthew Bogyo

Improving and repurposing biocatalysts via directed evolution

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Over the last two decades, directed evolution has become a staple in protein engineering and ushered in a new era of industrial biocatalysis. Directed evolution has provided the tools to not only improve the activity of known biocatalysts, but also to endow biocatalysts with chemical reactivities not previously encountered in nature. Here we will discuss the recent successes in the quest to enhance thermostability, stereoselectivity and activity of biocatalysts, as well as…

Volume 25, Issue , 01 April 2015, Pp 55-64
Carl A. Denard | Hengqian Ren | Huimin Zhao

Druggable protein-protein interactions - from hot spots to hot segments

Protein Interactions (PPIs) mediate numerous biological functions. As such, the inhibition of specific PPIs has tremendous therapeutic value. The notion that these interactions are 'undruggable' has petered out with the emergence of more and more successful examples of PPI inhibitors, expanding considerably the scope of potential drug targets. The accumulated data on successes in the inhibition of PPIs allow us to analyze the features that are required for such inhibition. Whereas it has been…

Volume 17, Issue 6, 01 December 2013, Pp 952-959
Nir London | Barak Raveh | Ora Schueler-Furman

Enzyme catalysed tandem reactions

To transfer to the laboratory, the excellent efficiency shown by enzymes in Nature, biocatalysis, had to mimic several synthetic strategies used by the living organisms. Biosynthetic pathways are examples of tandem catalysis and may be assimilated in the biocatalysis field for the use of isolated multi-enzyme systems in the homogeneous phase. The concurrent action of several enzymes that work sequentially presents extraordinary advantages from the synthetic point of view, since it permits a…

Volume 17, Issue 2, 01 April 2013, Pp 236-249
Isabel Oroz-Guinea | Eduardo García-Junceda

Recent achievments in the design and engineering of artificial metalloenzymes

Herein, we highlight a selection of recent successes in the creation of artificial metalloenzymes. A particular emphasis is set on different anchoring methods to incorporate the abiotic metal cofactor within the host protein as well as promising strategies for the de novo design of artificial metalloenzymes. Both approaches yield promiscuous catalytic activities which expand the catalytic repertoire of biocatalysis and synthetic biology. Moreover, we summarize laboratory evolution protocols…

Volume 19, Issue 1, 01 January 2014, Pp 99-106
Marc Dürrenberger | Thomas R. Ward

Computational tools for designing and engineering enzymes

Protein engineering strategies aimed at constructing enzymes with novel or improved activities, specificities, and stabilities greatly benefit from in silico methods. Computational methods can be principally grouped into three main categories: bioinformatics; molecular modelling; and de novo design. Particularly de novo protein design is experiencing rapid development, resulting in more robust and reliable predictions. A recent trend in the field is to combine several computational approaches…

Volume 19, Issue 1, 01 April 2014, Pp 8-16
Jiri Damborsky | Jan Brezovsky

Lignocellulose degradation mechanisms across the Tree of Life

© 2015 The Authors. Organisms use diverse mechanisms involving multiple complementary enzymes, particularly glycoside hydrolases (GHs), to deconstruct lignocellulose. Lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) produced by bacteria and fungi facilitate deconstruction as does the Fenton chemistry of brown-rot fungi. Lignin depolymerisation is achieved by white-rot fungi and certain bacteria, using peroxidases and laccases. Meta-omics is now revealing the complexity of prokaryotic degradative…

Volume 29, Issue , 01 December 2015, Pp 108-119
Simon M. Cragg | Gregg T. Beckham | Neil C. Bruce | Timothy D.H. Bugg | Daniel L. Distel | Paul Dupree | Amaia Green Etxabe | Barry S. Goodell | Jody Jellison | John E. McGeehan | Simon J. McQueen-Mason | Kirk Schnorr | Paul H. Walton | Joy E.M. Watts | Martin Zimmer

Artificial metalloenzymes for enantioselective catalysis

Artificial metalloenzymes have emerged over the last decades as an attractive approach towards combining homogeneous catalysis and biocatalysis. A wide variety of catalytic transformations have been established by artificial metalloenzymes, thus establishing proof of concept. The field is now slowly transforming to take on new challenges. These include novel designs, novel catalytic reactions, some of which have no equivalent in both homogenous catalysis and biocatalysis and the incorporation…

Volume 19, Issue 1, 01 January 2014, Pp 135-143
Jeffrey Bos | Gerard Roelfes