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 16 leading titles in life sciences and adjacent fields.

Current Opinion in Chemical Biology

5-Year Impact Factor: 9.446
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 2014 they are:
• Arrays
• Bioinorganic chemistry
• Biocatalysis and Biotransformation
• Molecular Imaging
• In Vivo Chemistry
• Mechanisms
• Synthetic Biology
• Synthetic Biomolecules
• Molecular Immunology

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.

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Near-infrared fluorescence: application to in vivo molecular imaging

Molecular imaging often relies on the use of targeted and activatable reporters to quantitate and visualize targets, biological processes, and cells in vivo. The use of optical probes with near-infrared fluorescence allows for improved photon penetration through tissue and minimizes the effects of tissue autofluorescence. There are several parameters that define the effectiveness of imaging agents in vivo. These factors include probe targeting, activation, pharmacokinetics, biocompatibility,…

Volume 14, Issue 1, 01 February 2010, Pp 71-79
Scott A. Hilderbrand | Ralph Weissleder

Privileged scaffolds for library design and drug discovery

This review explores the concept of using privileged scaffolds to identify biologically active compounds through building chemical libraries. We hope to accomplish three main objectives: to provide one of the most comprehensive listings of privileged scaffolds; to reveal through four selected examples the present state of the art in privileged scaffold library synthesis (in hopes of inspiring new and even more creative approaches); and also to offer some thoughts on how new privileged scaffolds…

Volume 14, Issue 3, 01 June 2010, Pp 347-361
Matthew E. Welsch | Scott A. Snyder | Brent R. Stockwell

G-quadruplex nucleic acids as therapeutic targets

Nucleic acid sequences containing several short runs of guanine nucleotides can form complex higher order structures, termed quadruplexes. Their occurrence has been most extensively characterised at the telomeric ends of eukaryotic chromosomes, whose DNA comprises such sequences, and where the extreme 3′ ends are single-stranded. This enables relatively facile formation of quadruplex arrangements under the influence of a quadruplex-selective small molecule to compete effectively with telomeric…

Volume 13, Issue 3, 01 June 2009, Pp 345-353
Shankar Balasubramanian | Stephen Neidle

Upconverting luminescent nanoparticles for use in bioconjugation and bioimaging

Upconverting luminescent nanoparticles (UCNPs) display the unique property of emitting visible light following photoexcitation with near-infrared laser light. This results in features such as virtually zero autofluorescence of (biological) matter and easy separation of the emission peaks from stray light. Other features include rather narrow emission bands, very high chemical stability, the lack of bleaching, and the absence of blinking effects. This article reviews the work performed in the…

Volume 14, Issue 5, 01 October 2010, Pp 582-596
Heike S. Mader | Péter Kele | Sayed M. Saleh | Otto S. Wolfbeis

Antibody-drug conjugates: Targeted drug delivery for cancer

The antibody-drug conjugate field has made significant progress recently owing to careful optimization of several parameters, including mAb specificity, drug potency, linker technology, and the stoichiometry and placement of conjugated drugs. The underlying reason for this has been obtained in pre-clinical biodistribution and pharmacokinetics studies showing that targeted delivery leads to high intratumoral free drug concentrations, while non-target tissues are largely spared from…

Volume 14, Issue 4, 01 August 2010, Pp 529-537
Stephen C. Alley | Nicole M. Okeley | Peter D. Senter

Folate-targeted therapeutic and imaging agents for cancer

Cancer therapies that exploit targeting ligands to deliver attached cytotoxic drugs selectively to malignant cells are currently receiving significant attention. While antibody-targeted drugs have been the first to enter the clinic, recent studies demonstrate that the vitamin folic acid can also be used to deliver attached imaging and therapeutic agents selectively to malignant cells in both animal tumor models and human cancer patients. Thus, folate conjugates bind to folate receptors that are…

Volume 13, Issue 3, 01 June 2009, Pp 256-262
Philipstewart Low | Sumith Anurasiri Kularatne

Metal-organic frameworks as potential drug carriers

Nanoparticle-based therapeutics have received increasing attention, as these systems can alleviate many drawbacks of conventional therapy. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), a new class of hybrid materials composed of metal ions and organic bridging ligands, have emerged as a promising platform for drug delivery, owing to their high drug loadings, biodegradability, and versatile functionality. The bulk MOF materials can absorb and release large amounts of therapeutics including ibuprofen,…

Volume 14, Issue 2, 01 April 2010, Pp 262-268
Rachel C. Huxford | Joseph Della Rocca | Wenbin Lin

NIR dyes for bioimaging applications

Fluorescent dyes based on small organic molecules that function in the near infrared (NIR) region are of great current interest in chemical biology. They allow for imaging with minimal autofluorescence from biological samples, reduced light scattering, and high tissue penetration. Herein, examples of ongoing NIR fluorophore design strategies as well as their properties and anticipated applications relevant to the bioimaging are presented. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Volume 14, Issue 1, 01 February 2010, Pp 64-70
Jorge O. Escobedo | Oleksandr Rusin | Soojin Lim | Robert M. Strongin

Recent advances in multicomponent reactions for diversity-oriented synthesis

Interest in multicomponent reactions (MCRs) has surged during the past two decades as interest in the efficient synthesis of small molecule libraries has gained prominence. MCRs fill an important niche in library synthesis by providing direct access to library compounds and by serving as starting points for Diversity-Oriented Synthesis (DOS). Recent advances in the area of MCR chemistry have included the discovery of new reactions, development of the first asymmetric catalysts, and the…

Volume 14, Issue 3, 01 June 2010, Pp 371-382
James E. Biggs-Houck | Ashkaan Younai | Jared T. Shaw

Potent antibody drug conjugates for cancer therapy

Significant progress has been made in the past few years in the area of antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) for the selective delivery of cytotoxic drugs to tumors. Early work in this field incorporated clinically approved drugs and mouse monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), which had modest activities, and were generally immunogenic. The results of these studies prompted investigation that led to the identity of several key parameters that influenced activity and tolerability. These included the antigen…

Volume 13, Issue 3, 01 June 2009, Pp 235-244
Peter D. Senter

Engineered protein scaffolds as next-generation antibody therapeutics

Antibodies have been the paradigm of binding proteins with desired specificities for more than one century and during the past decade their recombinant or humanized versions have entered clinical application with remarkable success. Meanwhile, a new generation of receptor proteins was born, which is derived from small and robust non-immunoglobulin "scaffolds" that can be equipped with prescribed binding functions using the methods of combinatorial protein design. Their ongoing development does…

Volume 13, Issue 3, 01 June 2009, Pp 245-255
Michaela Gebauer | Arne Skerra

Directed enzyme evolution: climbing fitness peaks one amino acid at a time

Directed evolution can generate a remarkable range of new enzyme properties. Alternate substrate specificities and reaction selectivities are readily accessible in enzymes from families that are naturally functionally diverse. Activities on new substrates can be obtained by improving variants with broadened specificities or by step-wise evolution through a sequence of more and more challenging substrates. Evolution of highly specific enzymes has been demonstrated, even with positive selection…

Volume 13, Issue 1, 01 February 2009, Pp 3-9
Cara A. Tracewell | Frances H. Arnold

Nutritional immunity beyond iron: a role for manganese and zinc

Vertebrates sequester iron from invading pathogens, and conversely, pathogens express a variety of factors to steal iron from the host. Recent work has demonstrated that in addition to iron, vertebrates sequester zinc and manganese both intracellularly and extracellularly to protect against infection. Intracellularly, vertebrates utilize the ZIP/ZnT families of transporters to manipulate zinc levels, as well as Nramp1 to manipulate manganese levels. Extracellularly, the S100 protein…

Volume 14, Issue 2, 01 April 2010, Pp 218-224
Thomas E. Kehl-Fie | Eric Patrick Skaar

Imaging mobile zinc in biology

Trafficking and regulation of mobile zinc pools influence cellular functions and pathological conditions in multiple organs, including brain, pancreas, and prostate. The quest for a dynamic description of zinc distribution and mobilization in live cells fuels the development of increasingly sophisticated probes. Detection systems that respond to zinc binding with changes of their fluorescence emission properties have provided sensitive tools for mobile zinc imaging, and fluorescence microscopy…

Volume 14, Issue 2, 01 April 2010, Pp 225-230
Elisa Tomat | Stephen J. Líppard

Glycan arrays: recent advances and future challenges

Carbohydrate arrays, also referred to as glycan arrays, are composed of various oligosaccharides and/or polysaccharides immobilized on a solid support in a spatially defined arrangement. This technology provides a powerful, high-throughput approach to examining carbohydrate-macromolecule interactions, and glycan arrays have had a significant impact on the field of glycobiology. This review focuses on recent advances in glycan array technology, limitations, and opportunities for improvement. In…

Volume 13, Issue 4, 01 October 2009, Pp 406-413
Oyindasola Oyelaran | Jeffrey C. Gildersleeve

Development of responsive lanthanide probes for cellular applications

Useful probes of the intracellular environment are required for a wide range of bioactive species including metal ions, oxyanions and pH. These probes need to be targeted to specific organelles (mitochondria, nucleus and lysosomes) in order to allow direct observation of the changes in these regions. Critical probe design features for luminescent lanthanide complexes are defined, together with a review of published sub-cellular localisation profiles. Cell uptake by macropinocytosis has been…

Volume 14, Issue 2, 01 April 2010, Pp 238-246
Elizabeth J. New | David John Parker | Dav́id G E Smith | James W. Walton

Glycomics and disease markers

Glycomics is the comprehensive study of all glycans expressed in biological systems. The biosynthesis of glycan relies on a number of highly competitive processes involving glycosyl transferases. Glycosylation is therefore highly sensitive to the biochemical environment and has been implicated in many diseases including cancer. Recently, interest in profiling the glycome has increased owing to the potential of glycans for disease markers. In this regard, mass spectrometry is emerging as a…

Volume 13, Issue 5-6, 01 December 2009, Pp 601-607
Hyunjoo An | Scott R. Kronewitter | Maria Lorna A De Leoz | Carlito Carlito Lebrilla

Copper-dioxygen complex mediated C-H bond oxygenation: relevance for particulate methane monooxygenase (pMMO)

Particulate methane monooxygenase (pMMO), an integral membrane protein found in methanotrophic bacteria, catalyzes the oxidation of methane to methanol. Expression and greater activity of the enzyme in the presence of copper ion suggest that pMMO is a cuprous metalloenzyme. Recent advances - especially the first crystal structures of pMMO - have energized the field, but the nature of the active site(s) and the mechanism of methane oxidation remain poorly understood-yet hotly contested. Herein…

Volume 13, Issue 1, 01 February 2009, Pp 119-131
Richard A. Himes | Kenneth D. Karlín

Perspectives of targeted mass spectrometry for protein biomarker verification

The identification of specific biomarkers will improve the early diagnosis of disease, facilitate the development of targeted therapies, and provide an accurate method to monitor treatment response. A major challenge in the process of verifying biomarker candidates in blood plasma is the complexity and high dynamic range of proteins. This article reviews the current, targeted proteomic strategies that are capable of quantifying biomarker candidates at concentration ranges where biomarkers are…

Volume 13, Issue 5-6, 01 December 2009, Pp 518-525
Ruth Hüttenhain | Johan A. Malmström | Paola Picotti | Ruedi H. Aebersold

Deracemisation methods

New methods continue to be developed for the dynamic kinetic resolution (DKR) and deracemisation of racemic chiral compounds, in particular alcohols, amines and amino acids. Many of the DKR processes involve the combination of an enantioselective enzyme, often a lipase or protease, with a metal racemisation catalyst. A greater range of ruthenium-based racemisation catalysts is now available with some showing good activity for the racemisation of amines that are more difficult to epimerise than…

Volume 14, Issue 2, 01 April 2010, Pp 115-121
Nicholas Turner

Enzyme dynamics point to stepwise conformational selection in catalysis

Recent data increasingly reveal that conformational dynamics are indispensable to enzyme function throughout the catalytic cycle, in substrate recruiting, chemical transformation, and product release. Conformational transitions may involve conformational selection and induced fit, which can be viewed as a special case in the catalytic network. NMR, X-ray crystallography, single-molecule FRET, and simulations clearly demonstrate that the free enzyme dynamics already encompass all the…

Volume 14, Issue 5, 01 October 2010, Pp 652-659
Buyong Ma | Ruth Nussinov

Genomics-inspired discovery of natural products

The massive surge in genome sequencing projects has opened our eyes to the overlooked biosynthetic potential and metabolic diversity of microorganisms. While traditional approaches have been successful at identifying many useful therapeutic agents from these organisms, new tactics are needed in order to exploit their true biosynthetic potential. Several genomics-inspired strategies have been successful in unveiling new metabolites that were overlooked under standard fermentation and detection…

Volume 15, Issue 1, 01 February 2011, Pp 22-31
Jaclyn M. Winter | Swantje Behnken | Christian Hertweck

Drug-target residence time: Critical information for lead optimization

Failure due to poor in vivo efficacy is a primary contributor to attrition during the development of new chemotherapeutics. Lead optimization programs that in their quest for efficacy focus solely on improving the affinity of drug-target binding are flawed, since this approach ignores the fluctuations in drug concentration that occur in vivo. Instead the lifetime of the drug-target complex must also be considered, since drugs only act when they are bound to their targets. Consequently, to…

Volume 14, Issue 4, 01 August 2010, Pp 467-474
Hao Lu | Peter J. Tonge

Advances in generating functional diversity for directed protein evolution

Despite advances in screening technologies, only a very small fraction of theoretical protein sequence can be sampled in directed evolution experiments. At the current state of random mutagenesis technologies mutation frequencies have often been adjusted to values that cause a limited number of amino acid changes (often one to four amino acid changes per protein). For harvesting the power of directed evolution algorithms it is therefore important that generated mutant libraries are rich in…

Volume 13, Issue 1, 01 February 2009, Pp 19-25
Amol V. Shivange | Jan Marienhagen | Hemanshu Mundhada | Alexander Schenk | Ulrich Schwaneberg

Biocatalysis in development of green pharmaceutical processes

Biocatalysis is one of the greenest technologies for the synthesis of chiral molecules due to exquisite regioselectivity and stereoselectivity in water under mild conditions. For example, protection and deprotection of functional groups are usually not required for biotransformations, high or low temperature reactions can often be circumvented and usage of organic solvents are drastically minimized. To truly empower the green chemistry feature of biocatalysis, it is essential to integrate…

Volume 13, Issue 1, 01 February 2009, Pp 43-50
Junhua Tao | JianHong Xu