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: 8.189
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.

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The potential of organometallic complexes in medicinal chemistry

Organometallic complexes have unique physico-chemical properties, which have been widely used in homogenous catalysis, for example, for the synthesis of lead compounds and drug candidates. Over the past two decades, a few scientists from all over the world have extended the use of the specific characteristics of these compounds (e.g. structural diversity, possibility of ligand exchange, redox and catalytic properties) for medicinal purposes. The results are stunning. A few organometallic…

Volume 16, Issue 1-2, 01 April 2012, Pp 84-91
Gilles Gasser | Nils Metzler-Nolte

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

Ionic liquids in biotransformations: From proof-of-concept to emerging deep-eutectic-solvents

Ionic liquids (ILs) have been extensively assessed in biotransformations with different purposes, for example, non-conventional (co-)solvents, performance additives, coating agents for immobilizing/stabilizing enzymes, and IL-membrane-based processes. Fuelled by their premature labelling as 'green solvents', academic research has flourished. However, in recent years environmental aspects related to ILs have been strongly addressed, stating that many ILs commonly used cannot be regarded as…

Volume 15, Issue 2, 01 April 2011, Pp 220-225
Pablo Domínguez de María | Zaira Maugeri

Fluorescent probes for sensing and imaging biological hydrogen sulfide

Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has long been recognized as a toxic molecule in biological systems. However, emerging studies now link controlled fluxes of this reactive sulfur species to cellular regulation and signaling events akin to other small molecule messengers, such as nitric oxide, hydrogen peroxide, and carbon monoxide. Progress in the development of fluorescent small-molecule indicators with high selectivity for hydrogen sulfide offers a promising approach for studying its production,…

Volume 16, Issue 5-6, 01 December 2012, Pp 595-601
Vivian S. Lin | Christopher J. Chang

Optimizing non-natural protein function with directed evolution

Developing technologies such as unnatural amino acid mutagenesis, non-natural cofactor engineering, and computational design are generating proteins with novel functions; these proteins, however, often do not reach performance targets and would benefit from further optimization. Evolutionary methods can complement these approaches: recent work combining unnatural amino acid mutagenesis and phage selection has created useful proteins of novel composition. Weak initial activity in a…

Volume 15, Issue 2, 01 April 2011, Pp 201-210
Eric M. Brustad | Frances H. Arnold

The SNO-proteome: Causation and classifications

Cell signaling is a complex and highly regulated process. Post-translational modifications of proteins serve to sense and transduce cellular signals in a precisely coordinated manner. It is increasingly recognized that protein S-nitrosylation, the addition of a nitric oxide group to cysteine thiols, serves an important role in a wide range of signaling pathways. In spite of the large number of SNO-proteins now identified (∼1000), the observed specificity of S-nitrosylation in terms of target…

Volume 15, Issue 1, 01 February 2011, Pp 129-136
Divya Seth | Jonathan S. Stamler

Chemical and structural lessons from recent successes in protein-protein interaction inhibition (2P2I)

Worldwide research efforts have driven recent pharmaceutical successes, and consequently, the emerging role of Protein-Protein Interactions (PPIs) as drug targets has finally been widely embraced by the scientific community. Inhibitors of these Protein-Protein Interactions (2P2Is or i-PPIs) are likely to represent the next generation of highly innovative drugs that will reach the market over the next decade. This review describes up-to-date knowledge on this particular chemical space, with a…

Volume 15, Issue 4, 01 August 2011, Pp 475-481
Xavier Morelli | Raphaël Bourgeas | Philippe Roche

Recent progress in industrial biocatalysis

In recent years, several procedures have been reported for the development of biocatalytic processes. This review focuses on selected examples integrating biocatalysts into a variety of industrially interesting processes ranging from the manufacture of smaller, chiral speciality chemicals to the synthesis of more complex pharmaceutical intermediates. The use of rational protein design, multistep processes and de novo design of enzyme catalysts for the stereocontrolled preparation of important…

Volume 15, Issue 2, 01 April 2011, Pp 187-193
Bettina M. Nestl | Bernd A. Nebel | Bernhard Hauer

Chemical 'omics' approaches for understanding protein cysteine oxidation in biology

Oxidative cysteine modifications have emerged as a central mechanism for dynamic post-translational regulation of all major protein classes and correlate with many disease states. Elucidating the precise roles of cysteine oxidation in physiology and pathology presents a major challenge. This article reviews the current, targeted proteomic strategies that are available to detect and quantify cysteine oxidation. A number of indirect methods have been developed to monitor changes in the redox…

Volume 15, Issue 1, 01 February 2011, Pp 88-102
Stephen E. Leonard | Kate S. Carroll

Microfluidic single cell analysis: From promise to practice

Methods for single-cell analysis are critical to revealing cell-to-cell variability in biological systems, especially in cases where relevant minority cell populations can be obscured by population-averaged measurements. However, to date single cell studies have been limited by the cost and throughput required to examine large numbers of cells and the difficulties associated with analyzing small amounts of starting material. Microfluidic approaches are well suited to resolving these issues by…

Volume 16, Issue 3-4, 01 August 2012, Pp 381-390
Véronique Lecault | Adam K. White | Anupam Singhal | Carl L. Hansen

Status of protein engineering for biocatalysts: How to design an industrially useful biocatalyst

Recent advances in the development of both experimental and computational protein engineering tools have enabled a number of further successes in the development of biocatalysts ready for large-scale applications. Key tools are first, the targeting of libraries, leading to far smaller but more useful libraries than in the past, second, the combination of structural, mechanistic, and sequence-based knowledge often based on prior successful cases, and third, the advent of structurally based…

Volume 15, Issue 2, 01 April 2011, Pp 194-200
Andreas S. Bommarius | Janna K. Blum | Michael J. Abrahamson

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

Metal-associated amyloid-β species in Alzheimer's disease

Highly concentrated metals such as Cu, Zn, and Fe are found in amyloid-β (A. β) plaques within the brain of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In vitro and in vivo studies have suggested that metal binding to A. β could facilitate A. β aggregation and generate reactive oxygen species (ROS), which could contribute to the neuropathogenesis of AD. The connection between metal-A. β interaction/reactivity and AD development, however, has not been clearly revealed owing to the complexity of the disease. In…

Volume 16, Issue 1-2, 01 April 2012, Pp 67-73
Amit S. Pithadia | Mi Hee Lim

Recent insights into iron import by bacteria

Bacteria are confronted with a low availability of iron owing to its insolubility in the Fe3+ form or its being bound to host proteins. The bacteria cope with the iron deficiency by using host heme or siderophores synthesized by themselves or other microbes. In contrast to most other nutrients, iron compounds are tightly bound to proteins at the cell surfaces, from which they are further translocated by highly specific proteins across the cell wall of gram-positive bacteria and the outer…

Volume 15, Issue 2, 01 April 2011, Pp 328-334
Volkmar Braun | Klaus Hantke

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 (PtII and PtIV), ruthenium (RuII and RuIII), gold (AuI and AuIII) and…

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

Small molecule modulators of antioxidant response pathway

Nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a transcription factor that regulates Antioxidant Response Element (ARE)-mediated transcription of a plethora of antioxidant and protective genes to counteract the harmful effects of reactive oxygen species or environmental carcinogens. Studies have demonstrated that pre-emptive activation of the Nrf2-ARE pathway reinforces the cellular defense mechanism against oxidative stress and leads to protection in a variety of disease models. Non-carcinogenic…

Volume 15, Issue 1, 01 February 2011, Pp 162-173
Wooyoung Hur | Nathanael S. Gray

Recent developments in research on water oxidation by photosystem II

Photosynthetic water oxidation chemistry at the unique manganese-calcium complex of photosystem II (PSII) is of fundamental importance and serves as a paragon in the development of efficient synthetic catalysts. A recent crystal structure of PSII shows the atoms of the water-oxidizing complex; its Mn 4CaO 5 core resembles inorganic manganese-calcium oxides. Merging of crystallographic and spectroscopic information reverses radiation-induced modifications at the Mn-complex in silico and…

Volume 16, Issue 1-2, 01 April 2012, Pp 3-10
Holger Dau | Ivelina Zaharieva | Michael Haumann

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

Genome mining for ribosomally synthesized natural products

In recent years, the number of known peptide natural products that are synthesized via the ribosomal pathway has rapidly grown. Taking advantage of sequence homology among genes encoding precursor peptides or biosynthetic proteins, in silico mining of genomes combined with molecular biology approaches has guided the discovery of a large number of new ribosomal natural products, including lantipeptides, cyanobactins, linear thiazole/oxazole-containing peptides, microviridins, lasso peptides,…

Volume 15, Issue 1, 01 February 2011, Pp 11-21
Juan E. Velásquez | Wilfred A. Van der Donk

Advances in targeted genome editing

New technologies have recently emerged that enable targeted editing of genomes in diverse systems. This includes precise manipulation of gene sequences in their natural chromosomal context and addition of transgenes to specific genomic loci. This progress has been facilitated by advances in engineering targeted nucleases with programmable, site-specific DNA-binding domains, including zinc finger proteins and transcription activator-like effectors (TALEs). Recent improvements have enhanced…

Volume 16, Issue 3-4, 01 August 2012, Pp 268-277
Pablo Perez-Pinera | David G. Ousterout | Charles A. Gersbach

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

Recent advances in awakening silent biosynthetic gene clusters and linking orphan clusters to natural products in microorganisms

Secondary metabolites from microorganisms have a broad spectrum of applications, particularly in therapeutics. The growing number of sequenced microbial genomes has revealed a remarkably large number of natural product biosynthetic clusters for which the products are still unknown. These cryptic clusters are potentially a treasure house of medically useful compounds. The recent development of new methodologies has made it possible to begin unlock this treasure house, to discover new natural…

Volume 15, Issue 1, 01 February 2011, Pp 137-143
Yi Ming Chiang | Shu Lin Chang | Berl R. Oakley | Clay C C Wang

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 biocatalytic oxidation-reduction cascades

The combination of an oxidation and a reduction in a cascade allows performing transformations in a very economic and efficient fashion. The challenge is how to combine an oxidation with a reduction in one pot, either by running the two reactions simultaneously or in a stepwise fashion without isolation of intermediates. The broader availability of various redox enzymes nowadays has triggered the recent investigation of various oxidation-reduction cascades. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Volume 15, Issue 2, 01 April 2011, Pp 249-256
Joerg H. Schrittwieser | Johann Sattler | Verena Resch | Francesco G. Mutti | Wolfgang Kroutil

Combinatorial biosynthesis of polyketides-a perspective

Since their discovery, polyketide synthases have been attractive targets of biosynthetic engineering to make 'unnatural' natural products. Although combinatorial biosynthesis has made encouraging advances over the past two decades, the field remains in its infancy. In this enzyme-centric perspective, we discuss the scientific and technological challenges that could accelerate the adoption of combinatorial biosynthesis as a method of choice for the preparation of encoded libraries of bioactive…

Volume 16, Issue 1-2, 01 April 2012, Pp 117-123
Fong T. Wong | Chaitan Khosla