Molecular Biotechnology (MOL BIOTECHNOL)

Publisher: Humana Press

Journal description

This practical periodical is devoted to the rapid issuance of essential step-by-step laboratory protocols for molecular biology techniques (both protein and nucleic acid based), review articles, and original papers on the application of these techniques in both basic and applied biotechnology.

Current impact factor: 1.88

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2016
2014 Impact Factor 1.876
2013 Impact Factor 2.275
2012 Impact Factor 2.262
2011 Impact Factor 2.171
2010 Impact Factor 2.091
2009 Impact Factor 2.444
2008 Impact Factor 1.669
2007 Impact Factor 1.671
2006 Impact Factor 2.041
2005 Impact Factor 1.859
2004 Impact Factor 1.614
2003 Impact Factor 1.579
2002 Impact Factor 1
2001 Impact Factor 1.259
2000 Impact Factor 0.847
1999 Impact Factor 0.939
1998 Impact Factor 1.017

Impact factor over time

Impact factor

Additional details

5-year impact 2.00
Cited half-life 7.10
Immediacy index 0.38
Eigenfactor 0.00
Article influence 0.50
Website Molecular Biotechnology website
Other titles Molecular biotechnology
ISSN 1559-0305
OCLC 29487200
Material type Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Journal / Magazine / Newspaper, Internet Resource

Publisher details

Humana Press

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Authors own final version only can be archived
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • On author's personal website immediately
    • On any open access repository after 12 months from publication
    • Published source must be acknowledged
    • Must link to publisher version
    • Set phrase to accompany link to published version: The original publication is available at
    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
    • 'Humana Press' is an imprint of 'Springer Verlag (Germany)'
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Over the past 30 years, DNA analysis has revolutionized forensic science and has become the most useful single tool in the multifaceted fight against crime. Today, DNA profiling with sets of highly polymorphic autosomal short tandem repeat markers is widely employed and accepted in the courts due to its high discriminating power and reliability. However, an artificial bloodstain purposefully created using molecular biology techniques succeeded in tricking a leading forensic DNA laboratory. The disturbing possibility that a forensic DNA profile can be faked shocked the general public and the mass media, and generated serious discussion about the credibility of DNA evidence. Herein, we present two exemplary assays based on tissue-specific methylation patterns and cell-specific mRNA expression, respectively. These two assays can be integrated into the DNA analysis pipelines without consumption of additional samples. We show that the two assays can not only distinguish between artificial and genuine samples, but also provide information on tissue origin. The two assays were tested on natural and artificial bloodstains (generated by polymerase chain reaction and whole genome amplification technique) and the results illustrated that the logical framework of forensic identification is still useful for forensic identification with the high credibility.
    Molecular Biotechnology 09/2015; DOI:10.1007/s12033-015-9893-y
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    ABSTRACT: Mammalian gene expression constructs are generally prepared in a plasmid vector, in which a promoter and terminator are located upstream and downstream of a protein-coding sequence, respectively. In this study, we found that front terminator constructs-DNA constructs containing a terminator upstream of a promoter rather than downstream of a coding region-could sufficiently express proteins as a result of end joining of the introduced DNA fragment. By taking advantage of front terminator constructs, FLAG substitutions, and deletions were generated using mutagenesis primers to identify amino acids specifically recognized by commercial FLAG antibodies. A minimal epitope sequence for polyclonal FLAG antibody recognition was also identified. In addition, we analyzed the sequence of a C-terminal Ser-Lys-Leu peroxisome localization signal, and identified the key residues necessary for peroxisome targeting. Moreover, front terminator constructs of hepatitis B surface antigen were used for deletion analysis, leading to the identification of regions required for the particle formation. Collectively, these results indicate that front terminator constructs allow for easy manipulations of C-terminal protein-coding sequences, and suggest that direct gene expression with PCR-amplified DNA is useful for high-throughput protein analysis in mammalian cells.
    Molecular Biotechnology 09/2015; DOI:10.1007/s12033-015-9890-1
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    ABSTRACT: Virus-like particles (VLPs) are multisubunit self-assembly competent protein structures with identical or highly related overall structure to their corresponding native viruses. To construct a new filamentous VLP carrier, the coat protein (CP) gene from potato virus M (PVM) was amplified from infected potato plants, cloned, and expressed in Escherichia coli cells. As demonstrated by electron microscopy analysis, the PVM CP self-assembles into filamentous PVM-like particles, which are mostly 100-300 nm in length. Adding short Gly-Ser peptide at the C-terminus of the PVM, CP formed short VLPs, whereas peptide and protein A Z-domain fusions at the CP N-terminus retained its ability to form typical PVM VLPs. The PVM-derived VLP carrier accommodates up to 78 amino acid-long foreign sequences on its surface and can be produced in technologically significant amounts. PVM-like particles are stable at physiological conditions and also, apparently do not become disassembled in high salt and high pH solutions as well as in the presence of EDTA or reducing agents. Despite partial proteolytic processing of doubled Z-domain fused to PVM VLPs, the rabbit IgGs specifically bind to the particles, which demonstrates the functional activity and surface location of the Z-domain in the PVM VLP structure. Therefore, PVM VLPs may be recognized as powerful structural blocks for new human-made nanomaterials.
    Molecular Biotechnology 09/2015; DOI:10.1007/s12033-015-9891-0
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding of the functional significance of microRNAs (miRNAs) requires efficient and accurate detection method. In this study, we developed an improved miRNAs quantification system based on quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). This method showed higher efficiency and accuracy to survey the expression of primary miRNAs (pri-miRNAs), precursor miRNAs (pre-miRNAs), and mature miRNAs. Instead of relative quantification method, we quantified the pri-miRNAs and pre-miRNAs with absolute qRT-PCR based on SYBR Green I fluorescence. This improvement corrected for the inaccuracy caused by the differences in amplicon length and PCR efficiency. We also used SYBR Green method to quantify mature miRNAs based on the stem-loop qRT-PCR method. We extended the pairing part of the stem-loop reverse transcript (RT) primer from 6 to 11 bp, which greatly increased the efficiency of reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR). The performance of the improved RT primer was tested using synthetic mature miRNAs and tissue RNA samples. Results showed that the improved RT primer demonstrated dynamic range of seven orders of magnitude and sensitivity of detection of hundreds of copies of miRNA molecules.
    Molecular Biotechnology 08/2015; 57(10). DOI:10.1007/s12033-015-9885-y
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    ABSTRACT: Podophyllotoxin (PPT) is a plant natural product that serves as a precursor for the synthesis of many well-known chemotherapeutic drugs. The limited availability and high demand for the source plants of PPT have led to the exploration of alternative sources for this compound. In this study, we utilized the endophytic fungus Phialocephala podophylli (strain PPE7) that we isolated from the rhizomes of Podophyllum peltatum and is known to produce detectable amounts of PPT in broth culture. To date, the complete PPT biosynthetic pathway has yet to be determined in any species. Since fungi are well known for clustering genes that belong to secondary metabolite pathways, use of a fungal system for investigation of the PPT biosynthesis genes may ultimately lead to elucidation of the entire pathway. In this study, we investigated the secoisolariciresinol dehydrogenase (SD) gene that facilitates the dehydrogenation of secoisolariciresinol to form matairesinol, a mid-pathway intermediate product in PPT biosynthesis. We utilized PCR amplification to acquire the complete SD gene sequence in PPE7 and opted to synthesize the P. peltatum SD sequence for expression. Through western blotting, we confirmed the expression of the recombinant SD (PpSD) and verified protein functionality with a bioconversion assay followed by HPLC and LC-MS analyses. Here, we report the identification of the SD gene in PPE7; this is the first report of the SD gene in an endophytic fungus. Additionally, we established the groundwork for the future expression of the complete PPT biosynthetic pathway in the heterologous host Pichia pastoris.
    Molecular Biotechnology 08/2015; DOI:10.1007/s12033-015-9888-8
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    ABSTRACT: Many immune ligands and receptors are potential drug targets, which delicately manipulate a wide range of immune responses. We describe here the successful application of an efficient method to dramatically improve the heterologous expression levels in Drosophila Schneider 2 cells, which enables the high-throughput production of several important immune ligands/receptors for raising antibodies, and for the structural and functional analyses. As an example, we purified the protein and characterized the structure of the immune receptor herpesvirus entry mediator (HVEM, TNFRSF14). HVEM is a member of tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, which is recognized by herpes simplex virus glycoprotein D (gD) and facilitates viral entry. HVEM participates in a range of interactions with other cell surface molecules, including LIGHT, BTLA, and CD160 to modulate a wide range of immune processes in CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells, as well as NK cells. Due to the involvement of HVEM in these diverse signaling interactions, crystal structures of HVEM in complex with gD or BTLA have been previously reported. Here, we report the structure of HVEM in the absence of any ligands.
    Molecular Biotechnology 07/2015; 57(10). DOI:10.1007/s12033-015-9881-2
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    ABSTRACT: Enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulosic biomass has caught much attention because of modest reaction conditions and environment friendly conditions. To reduce the cost and to achieve good quantity of cellulases, a heterologous expression system is highly favored. In this study, cellulose-degrading enzymes, GH3 family β-glucosidase (BGL), GH7 family-related cellobiohydrolases (CBHs), and endoglucanase (EG) from a newly isolated Aspergillus niger BE-2 are highly expressed in Pichia pastoris GS115. The strain produced EG, CBHs, and BGL enzymatic concentration of 0.56, 0.11, and 22 IU/mL, respectively. Mode of actions of the recombinant enzymes for substrate specificity and end product analysis are verified and found specific for cellulose degradation. Bamboo biomass saccharification with A. niger cellulase released a high level of fermentable sugars. Hydrolysis parameters are optimized to obtain reducing sugars level of 3.18 g/L. To obtain reducing sugars from a cellulosic biomass, A. niger could be a good candidate for enzymes resource of cellulase to produce reducing sugars from a cellulosic biomass. This study also facilitates the development of highly efficient enzyme cocktails for the bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass into monosaccharides and oligosaccharides.
    Molecular Biotechnology 07/2015; 57(9). DOI:10.1007/s12033-015-9878-x
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    ABSTRACT: Polyomaviruses are small DNA viruses that have a history of use in biotechnology. The capsids of a number of species have been developed into experimental prophylactic and therapeutic virus-like particle (VLP) vaccines. In order to explore plants as a host for the expression and purification of polyomavirus-like particles, we have transiently expressed the major capsid protein, VP1, in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves. Deletion of a polybasic motif from the N-terminal region of VP1 resulted in increased expression as well as reduced necrosis of leaf tissue, which was associated with differences in subcellular localisation and reduced DNA binding by the deletion variant (ΔVP1). Self-assembled VLPs were recovered from tissue expressing both wild-type VP1 and ΔVP1 by density gradient ultracentrifugation. VLPs composed of ΔVP1 were more homogenous than wtVPLs and, unlike the latter, did not encapsidate nucleic acid. Such homogenous, empty VLPs are of great interest in biotechnology and nanotechnology. In addition, we show that both MPyV VLP variants assembled in plants can be produced with encapsidated foreign protein. Thus, this study demonstrates the utility of plant-based expression of polyomavirus-like particles and the suitability of this host for further developments in polyomavirus-based technologies.
    Molecular Biotechnology 07/2015; 57(10). DOI:10.1007/s12033-015-9879-9
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    ABSTRACT: Flagellin, the main component of flagellar filaments, is a protein possessing polymerization ability. In this work, a novel fusion construct of xylanase A from B. subtilis and Salmonella flagellin was created which is applicable to build xylan-degrading catalytic nanorods of high stability. The FliC-XynA chimera when overexpressed in a flagellin deficient Salmonella host strain was secreted into the culture medium by the flagellum-specific export machinery allowing easy purification. Filamentous assemblies displaying high surface density of catalytic sites were produced by ammonium sulfate-induced polymerization. FliC-XynA nanorods were resistant to proteolytic degradation and preserved their enzymatic activity for a long period of time. Furnishing enzymes with self-assembling ability to build catalytic nanorods offers a promising alternative approach to enzyme immobilization onto nanostructured synthetic scaffolds.
    Molecular Biotechnology 05/2015; 57(9). DOI:10.1007/s12033-015-9874-1
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    ABSTRACT: Two genes encoding lipolytic enzymes were isolated from a metagenomic library constructed from oil-polluted mud flats. An esterase gene, est3K, encoded a protein of 299 amino acids (ca. 32,364 Da). Est3K was a family IV esterase with typical motifs, HGGG, and HGF. Although est3K showed high identity to many genes with no information on their enzymatic properties, Est3K showed the highest identity (36 %) to SBLip5.1 from forest soil metagenome when compared to the enzymes with reported properties. A lipase gene, lip3K, encoded a protein of 616 amino acids (ca. 64,408 Da). Lip3K belonged to family I.3 lipase with a C-terminal secretion signal and showed the highest identity (93 %) to the lipase of Pseudomonas sp. MIS38. The presence of several newly identified conserved motifs in Est3K and Lip3K are suggested. Both Est3K and Lip3K exerted their maximal activity at pH 9.0 and 50 °C. The activity of Lip3K was significantly increased by the presence of 30 % methanol. The ability of the enzymes to retain activities in the presence of methanol and the substrates may offer a merit to the biotechnological applications of the enzymes such as transesterification. The activity and the thermostability of Lip3K were increased by Ca(2+). Est3K and Lip3K preferred p-nitrophenyl butyrate (C4) and octanoate (C8), respectively, as the substrate and acted independently on the substrates with no synergistic effect.
    Molecular Biotechnology 05/2015; 57(9). DOI:10.1007/s12033-015-9871-4