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 Genetics & Development

5-Year Impact Factor: 5.908
Issues per year: 6 issues
Editorial Board

Current Opinion in Genetics & Development

Current Opinion in Genetics and Development 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 Genetics and Development 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 Genetics and Development 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 Genetics and Development is divided into six themed sections, each of which is reviewed once a year:

Cancer Genomics
Genome Architecture and Expression
Molecular and genetic basis of disease
Developmental mechanisms, patterning and evolution
Cell reprogramming, regeneration and repair
Genetics of Human Origin / Evolutionary genetics (alternate years)

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 Genetics and Development 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 Genetics and Development one of the most highly regarded and highly cited review journals in the field.

Best Cited over the last year.

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MTOR in aging, metabolism, and cancer

The target of rapamycin (TOR) is a highly conserved serine/threonine kinase that is part of two structurally and functionally distinct complexes, TORC1 and TORC2. In multicellular organisms, TOR regulates cell growth and metabolism in response to nutrients, growth factors and cellular energy. Deregulation of TOR signaling alters whole body metabolism and causes age-related disease. This review describes the most recent advances in TOR signaling with a particular focus on mammalian TOR (mTOR) in…

Volume 23, Issue 1, 01 February 2013, Pp 53-62
Marion Cornu | Verena Albert | Michael N. Hall

MiRNA profiling of cancer

A steadily growing number of studies have shown that microRNAs have key roles in the regulation of cellular processes and that their dysregulation is essential to keep the malignant phenotype of cancer cells. The distorted and unique expression profile of microRNAs in different types and subsets of tumor coupled with their presence in biological fluids make of microRNAs an attractive source of sensitive biomarkers. Here, we will discuss how microRNA profiles are altered in cancer, highlighting…

Volume 23, Issue 1, 01 February 2013, Pp 3-11
Gianpiero Di Leva | Carlo M. Croce

Existence and consequences of G-quadruplex structures in DNA

While the discovery of B-form DNA 60 years ago has defined our molecular view of the genetic code, other postulated DNA secondary structures, such as A-DNA, Z-DNA, H-DNA, cruciform and slipped structures have provoked consideration of DNA as a more dynamic structure. Four-stranded G-quadruplex DNA does not use Watson-Crick base pairing and has been subject of considerable speculation and investigation during the past decade, particularly with regard to its potential relevance to genome…

Volume 25, Issue 1, 01 April 2014, Pp 22-29
Pierre Murat | Shankar Balasubramanian

Autophagy and human disease: Emerging themes

Malfunction of autophagy, the process that mediates breakdown and recycling of intracellular components in lysosomes, has been linked to a variety of human diseases. As the number of pathologies associated with defective autophagy increases, emphasis has switched from the mere description of the status of autophagy in these conditions to a more mechanistic dissection of the autophagic changes. Understanding the reasons behind the autophagic defect, the immediate consequences of the autophagic…

Volume 26, Issue , 01 January 2014, Pp 16-23
Jaime L. Schneider | Ana Maria Cuervo

Mutational signatures: The patterns of somatic mutations hidden in cancer genomes

All cancers originate from a single cell that starts to behave abnormally due to the acquired somatic mutations in its genome. Until recently, the knowledge of the mutational processes that cause these somatic mutations has been very limited. Recent advances in sequencing technologies and the development of novel mathematical approaches have allowed deciphering the patterns of somatic mutations caused by different mutational processes. Here, we summarize our current understanding of mutational…

Volume 24, Issue 1, 01 February 2014, Pp 52-60
Ludmil B. Alexandrov | Michael R. Stratton

TERT promoter mutations in cancer development

Human telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) encodes a rate-limiting catalytic subunit of telomerase that maintains genomic integrity. TERT expression is mostly repressed in somatic cells with exception of proliferative cells in self-renewing tissues and cancer. Immortality associated with cancer cells has been attributed to telomerase over-expression. The precise mechanism behind the TERT activation in cancers has mostly remained unknown. The newly described germline and recurrent somatic…

Volume 24, Issue 1, 01 February 2014, Pp 30-37
Barbara Heidenreich | P. Sivaramakrishna Rachakonda | Kari Hemminki | Rajiv Kumar

Recent developments in the genetics of autism spectrum disorders

The last several years have marked a turning point in the genetics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) due to rapidly advancing genomic technologies. As the pool of bona fide risk genes and regions accumulates, several key themes have emerged: these include the important role of rare and de novo mutation, the biological overlap among so-called syndromic and 'idiopathic' ASD, the elusive nature of the common variant contribution to risk, and the observation that the tremendous locus heterogeneity…

Volume 23, Issue 3, 01 June 2013, Pp 310-315
John D. Murdoch | Matthew W. State

MicroRNAs in the ionizing radiation response and in radiotherapy

Radiotherapy is a form of cancer treatment that utilizes the ability of ionizing radiation to induce cell inactivation and cell death, generally via inflicting DNA double-strand breaks. However, different tumors and their normal surrounding tissues are not equally sensitive to radiation, posing a major challenge in the field: to seek out factors that influence radiosensitivity. In this review, we summarize the evidence for microRNA (miRNA) involvement in the radioresponse and discuss their…

Volume 23, Issue 1, 01 February 2013, Pp 12-19
Chanatip Metheetrairut | Frank J. Slack

Organoid cultures for the analysis of cancer phenotypes

Preclinical models of cancer are essential for a basic understanding of cancer biology and its translation into efficient treatment options for affected patients. Cancer cell lines and xenografts derived directly from primary human tumors have proven very valuable in fundamental oncology research and anticancer drug discovery. Both models inherently comprise advantages and caveats that have to be accounted for. We will outline in these and discuss primary patient derived organoids as third…

Volume 24, Issue 1, 01 February 2014, Pp 68-73
Norman Sachs | Hans Clevers

Hedgehog signaling from the primary cilium to the nucleus: An emerging picture of ciliary localization, trafficking and transduction

The unexpected connection between cilia and signaling is one of the most exciting developments in cell biology in the past decade. In particular, the Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway relies on the primary cilium to regulate tissue patterning and homeostasis in vertebrates. A central question is how ciliary localization and trafficking of Hh pathway components lead to pathway activation and regulation. In this review, we discuss recent studies that reveal the roles of ciliary regulators,…

Volume 23, Issue 4, 01 August 2013, Pp 429-437
Yoko Inès Nozawa | Chuwen Lin | Pao Tien Chuang

ECM-modulated cellular dynamics as a driving force for tissue morphogenesis

The extracellular matrix (ECM) plays diverse regulatory roles throughout development. Coordinate interactions between cells within a tissue and the ECM result in the dynamic remodeling of ECM structure. Both chemical signals and physical forces that result from such microenvironmental remodeling regulate cell behavior that sculpts tissue structure. Here, we review recent discoveries illustrating different ways in which ECM remodeling promotes dynamic cell behavior during tissue morphogenesis.…

Volume 23, Issue 4, 01 August 2013, Pp 408-414
William P. Daley | Kenneth M. Yamada

Genetic and epigenetic determinants of DNA replication origins, position and activation

In the genome of eukaryotic cells, DNA synthesis is initiated at multiple sites called origins of DNA replication. Origins must fire only once per cell cycle and how this is achieved is now well understood. However, little is known about the mechanisms that determine when and where replication initiates in a given cell. A large body of evidence indicates that origins are not equal in terms of efficiency and timing of activation. Origin usage also changes concomitantly with the different cell…

Volume 23, Issue 2, 01 April 2013, Pp 124-131
Marcel Méchali | Kazumasa Yoshida | Philippe Coulombe | Philippe Pasero

Should evolutionary geneticists worry about higher-order epistasis?

Natural selection drives evolving populations up the fitness landscape, the projection from nucleotide sequence space to organismal reproductive success. While it has long been appreciated that topographic complexities on fitness landscapes can arise only as a consequence of epistatic interactions between mutations, evolutionary genetics has mainly focused on epistasis between pairs of mutations. Here we propose a generalization to the classical population genetic treatment of pairwise…

Volume 23, Issue 6, 01 December 2013, Pp 700-707
Daniel M. Weinreich | Yinghong Lan | C. Scott Wylie | Robert B. Heckendorn

Chromatin organization and transcriptional regulation

Cell type specific transcriptional regulation must be adhered to in order to maintain cell identity throughout the lifetime of an organism, yet it must be flexible enough to allow for responses to endogenous and exogenous stimuli. This regulation is mediated not only by molecular factors (e.g. cell type specific transcription factors, histone and DNA modifications), but also on the level of chromatin and genome organization. In this review we focus on recent findings that have contributed to…

Volume 23, Issue 2, 01 April 2013, Pp 89-95
Michael R. Hübner | Mélanie A. Eckersley-Maslin | David L. Spector

Break-induced replication: Functions and molecular mechanism

Break-induced replication (BIR) is the pathway of homologous recombination (HR) conserved from phages to eukaryotes that serves to repair DNA breaks that have only one end. BIR contributes to the repair of broken replication forks and allows telomere lengthening in the absence of telomerase. Nonallelic BIR may lead to translocations and other chromosomal rearrangements. In addition, BIR initiated at sites of microhomology can generate copy number variations (CNVs) and complex chromosomal…

Volume 23, Issue 3, 01 June 2013, Pp 271-279
Anna Malkova | Grzegorz Ira

Mechanisms coordinating ELAV/Hu mRNA regulons

The 5' and 3' untranslated regions (UTRs) of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) function as platforms that can determine the fate of each mRNA individually and in aggregate. Multiple mRNAs that encode proteins that are functionally related often interact with RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) that coordinate their expression in time and space as RNA regulons within the ribonucleoprotein (RNP) infrastructure we term the ribonome. Recent ribonomic methods have emerged that can determine…

Volume 23, Issue 1, 01 February 2013, Pp 35-43
Laura E. Simone | Jack D. Keene

Growth control and ribosomopathies

Ribosome biogenesis and protein synthesis are two of the most energy consuming processes in a growing cell. Moreover, defects in their molecular components can alter the pattern of gene expression [. 1,2]. Thus it is understandable that cells have developed a surveillance system to monitor the status of the translational machinery. Recent discoveries of causative mutations and deletions in genes linked to ribosome biogenesis have defined a group of similar pathologies termed ribosomopathies.…

Volume 23, Issue 1, 01 February 2013, Pp 63-71
Teng Teng | George Thomas | Carol A. Mercer

Repeat associated non-ATG (RAN) translation: New starts in microsatellite expansion disorders

Microsatellite-expansion diseases are a class of neurological and neuromuscular disorders caused by the expansion of short stretches of repetitive DNA (e.g. GGGGCC, CAG, CTG...) within the human genome. Since their discovery 20 years ago, research into how microsatellites expansions cause disease has been examined using the model that these genes are expressed in one direction and that expansion mutations only encode proteins when located in an ATG-initiated open reading frame. The fact that…

Volume 26, Issue , 01 January 2014, Pp 6-15
John Douglas Cleary | Laura P W Ranum

Fanconi anemia: A model disease for studies on human genetics and advanced therapeutics

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Fanconi anemia (FA) is characterized by bone marrow failure, malformations, and chromosome fragility. We review the recent discovery of FA genes and efforts to develop genetic therapies for FA in the last five years. Because current data exclude FANCM as an FA gene, 15 genes remain bona fide FA genes and three (. FANCO, FANCR and FANCS) cause an FA like syndrome. Monoallelic mutations in 6 FA associated genes (. FANCD1, FANCJ, FANCM, FANCN, FANCO and FANCS) predispose to…

Volume 33, Issue , 01 August 2015, Pp 32-40
Massimo Bogliolo | Jordi Surrallés

Polyploidy and genome evolution in plants

© 2015. Plant genomes vary in size and complexity, fueled in part by processes of whole-genome duplication (WGD; polyploidy) and subsequent genome evolution. Despite repeated episodes of WGD throughout the evolutionary history of angiosperms in particular, the genomes are not uniformly large, and even plants with very small genomes carry the signatures of ancient duplication events. The processes governing the evolution of plant genomes following these ancient events are largely unknown. Here,…

Volume 35, Issue , 01 December 2015, Pp 119-125
Pamela S. Soltis | D. Blaine Marchant | Yves Van de Peer | Douglas E. Soltis

Nucleosome remodelers in double-strand break repair

ATP-dependent nucleosome remodelers use ATP hydrolysis to shift, evict and exchange histone dimers or octamers and have well-established roles in transcription. Earlier work has suggested a role for nucleosome remodelers such as INO80 in double-strand break (DSB) repair. This review will begin with an update on recent studies that explore how remodelers are recruited to DSBs. We then examine their impact on various steps of repair, focusing on resection and the formation of the Rad51-ssDNA…

Volume 23, Issue 2, 01 April 2013, Pp 174-184
Andrew Seeber | Michael Hauer | Susan M. Gasser

Programmed induction of DNA double strand breaks during meiosis: Setting up communication between DNA and the chromosome structure

During the first meiotic prophase, hundreds of DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) are deliberately self-inflicted along chromosomes in order to promote homologous recombination between homologs. These DSBs, catalyzed by the evolutionary conserved Spo11 protein, are highly regulated. Recent studies in yeast and mammals have identified key components involved in meiotic DSB formation. In mammals, the DNA binding specificity of PRDM9 determines where DSB occur, whereas in yeast, Spo11 acts in regions…

Volume 23, Issue 2, 01 April 2013, Pp 147-155
Valérie Borde | Bernard de Massy

Morphogen Interpretation: The Transcriptional Logic Of Neural Tube Patterning

The spatial organization of cell fates in developing tissues often involves the control of transcriptional networks by morphogen gradients. A well-studied example of this is the Sonic-hedgehog (Shh) controlled pattern of neuronal subtype differentiation in the vertebrate neural tube. Here we discuss recent studies involving genome wide analyses, functional experiments and theoretical models that have begun to characterise the molecular logic by which neural cells interpret Shh signalling. The…

Volume 23, Issue 4, 01 August 2013, Pp 423-428
Michael Cohen | James Briscoe | Robert Blassberg

Regulation and dysregulation of 3'UTR-mediated translational control

Translational control provides numerous advantages in regulation of gene expression including rapid responsiveness, intracellular localization, nondestruction of template mRNA, and coordinated regulation of transcript ensembles. Transcript-selective, translational control is driven by the specific interaction of factor(s) with the 5' or 3' untranslated region (UTR), thereby influencing initiation, elongation, or termination of mRNA translation. The mean length of human 3'UTRs is greater than…

Volume 23, Issue 1, 01 February 2013, Pp 29-34
Jie Jia | Peng Yao | Abul Arif | Paul L. Fox

Single cell analysis of cancer genomes

Genomic studies have provided key insights into how cancers develop, evolve, metastasize and respond to treatment. Cancers result from an interplay between mutation, selection and clonal expansions. In solid tumours, this Darwinian competition between subclones is also influenced by topological factors. Recent advances have made it possible to study cancers at the single cell level. These methods represent important tools to dissect cancer evolution and provide the potential to considerably…

Volume 24, Issue 1, 01 January 2014, Pp 82-91
Peter Van Loo | Thierry Voet