Recent Research Papers In Molecular Biology

Invited Review

Adiponectin signaling and function in insulin target tissues

Obesity-linked type 2 diabetes is one of the paramount causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, posing a major threat on human health, productivity, and quality of life. Despite great progress made towards a better understanding of the molecular basis of diabetes, the available clinical counter-measures against insulin resistance, a defect that is central to obesity-linked type 2 diabetes, remain inadequate. Adiponectin, an abundant adipocyte-secreted factor with a wide-range of biological activities, improves insulin sensitivity in major insulin target tissues, modulates inflammatory responses, and plays a crucial role in the regulation of energy metabolism.

Invited Review

The FGF21–adiponectin axis in controlling energy and vascular homeostasis

Whole-body energy metabolism and cardiovascular homeostasis are tightly controlled processes that involve highly coordinated crosstalk among distal organs. This is mainly achieved by a large number of hormones released from each organ. Among them, fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) and adiponectin have recently gained considerable attention, since both of them possess multiple profound protective effects against a myriad of cardio-metabolic disorders. Despite their distinct structures and production sites, these two hormones share striking functional similarity.

Original Article

Adipocyte-derived microvesicles from obese mice induce M1 macrophage phenotype through secreted miR-155

The pro-inflammatory profile of M1 macrophage accumulation in adipose tissue is a central event leading to the metabolic complications of obesity. However, the mechanisms by which M1 macrophages are enriched in adipose tissue during weight gain remain incompletely understood. Here, we investigated the effects of adipocyte-derived microvesicles (ADM) on modulating macrophage phenotype in mice and explored the involved molecular signalling pathways. We found that, compared with ADM from lean mice (SD ADM), ADM from obese mice (HFD ADM) significantly enhanced M1 marker expression.

Letter to the Editor

Genetically humanized pigs exclusively expressing human insulin are generated through custom endonuclease-mediated seamless engineering

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a lifelong (chronic) disease and a major health problem throughout the world. This disease can be treated by either insulin injection or islet transplantation. Islet transplantation is considered as a better treatment for T1D patients, because islets can produce and release insulin at the appropriate time, resulting in tight blood glucose control. However, islet transplantation is performed only for brittle T1D patients due to lack of sufficient donors: only 1 of 333 patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) can obtain human islets

Invited Review

Krüppel-like factors and vascular wall homeostasis

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are major causes of death worldwide. Identification of promising targets for prevention and treatment of CVDs is paramount in the cardiovascular field. Numerous transcription factors regulate cellular function through modulation of specific genes and thereby are involved in the physiological and pathophysiological processes of CVDs. Although Krüppel-like factors (KLFs) have a similar protein structure with a conserved zinc finger domain, they possess distinct tissue and cell distribution patterns as well as biological functions. In the vascular system, KLF activities are regulated at both transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels. Growing in vitro, in vivo, and genetic epidemiology studies suggest that specific KLFs play important roles in vascular wall biology, which further affect vascular diseases.

Original Article

Cold adaptation in pigs depends on UCP3 in beige adipocytes

Pigs lack functional uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) making them susceptible to cold. Nevertheless, several pig breeds are known to be cold resistant. The molecular mechanism(s) enabling such adaptation are currently unknown. Here, we show that this resistance is not dependent on shivering, but rather depends on UCP3 and white adipose tissue (WAT) browning. In two cold-resistant breeds (Tibetan and Min), but not a cold-sensitive breed (Bama), WAT browning was induced after cold exposure.

The Journal of Molecular Biology provides high quality, comprehensive and broad coverage in all areas of molecular biology. The journal publishes original scientific research papers that provide mechanistic and functional insights and report a significant advance to the field. The journal encourages the submission of multidisciplinary studies that use complementary experimental and computational approaches to address challenging biological questions.

Research areas include but are not limited to:

  • Biomolecular interactions, signaling networks, systems biology
  • Cell cycle, cell growth, cell differentiation
  • Cell death, autophagy
  • Cell signaling and regulation
  • Chemical biology
  • Computational biology, in combination with experimental studies
  • DNA replication, repair, and recombination
  • Development, regenerative biology, mechanistic and functional studies of stem cells
  • Epigenetics, chromatin structure and function
  • Gene expression
  • Membrane processes, cell surface proteins and cell-cell interactions
  • Methodological advances, both experimental and theoretical, including databases
  • Microbiology, virology, and interactions with the host or environment
  • Microbiota mechanistic and functional studies
  • Nuclear organization
  • Post-translational modifications, proteomics
  • Processing and function of biologically important macromolecules and complexes
  • Molecular basis of disease
  • RNA processing, structure and functions of non-coding RNAs, transcription
  • Sorting, spatiotemporal organization, trafficking
  • Structural biology
  • Synthetic biology
  • Translation, protein folding, chaperones, protein degradation and quality control

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