ISSN / EISSN : 0954-982X / 1740-1194
Published by: Portland Press Ltd. (10.1042)
Total articles ≅ 1,792
Latest articles in this journal
The Biochemist, Volume 44, pp 1-1; https://doi.org/10.1042/bio_2022_124
The Biochemist; https://doi.org/10.1042/bio_2022_119
Mitochondria, special double-membraned intracellular compartments or ‘organelles’, are popularly known as the ‘powerhouses of the cell’, as they generate the bulk of ATP used to fuel cellular biochemical reactions. Mitochondria are also well known for generating metabolites for the synthesis of macromolecules (e.g., carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and nucleic acids). In the mid-1990s, new evidence suggesting that mitochondria, beyond their canonical roles in bioenergetics and biosynthesis, can act as signalling organelles began to emerge, bringing a dramatic shift in our view of mitochondria’s roles in controlling cell function. Over the next two and half decades, works from multiple groups have demonstrated how mitochondrial signalling can dictate diverse physiological and pathophysiological outcomes. In this article, we will briefly discuss different mechanisms by which mitochondria can communicate with cytosol and other organelles to regulate cell fate and function and exert paracrine effects. Our molecular understanding of mitochondrial communication with the rest of the cell, i.e. mitochondrial signalling, could reveal new therapeutic strategies to improve health and ameliorate diseases.
The Biochemist; https://doi.org/10.1042/bio_2022_121
Speaking at a conference for the first time can be daunting for anyone. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a biochemist… No, really – I was a keen kid. So hours away from giving my first talk at the European SMALP conference, organized by the Biochemical Society, it would appear that I had achieved my life’s goal. Yet, peering out of my hotel window at the busy morning skyline, a downpour of worries started to cloud the day.
The Biochemist; https://doi.org/10.1042/bio_2022_122
The ‘Mitochondria and Us’ project embodies our ambition to break new ground by working across traditionally siloed disciplines and by co-creating innovative approaches to impact research and societal awareness. Our vision is to provide a paradigm shift of knowledge integration at all levels adopting a pandisciplinary cooperation in a crucial and emerging area of medicine impacting several incurable human diseases. We describe our efforts on this journey through a series of ‘Crossover’ workshops and webinars supported by the Biochemical Society and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, by bringing together mitochondria experts from the University of Glasgow and the University of Toronto together with designers from the Innovation School of the Glasgow School of Art, artists, patient groups, social scientists and bioethicists. The global Mitochondria Collective initiative has the vision to unite research, community voices and stakeholders to bring mitochondria to the forefront of medicine as a means of sustained impact on improved healthcare and quality of life.
The Biochemist; https://doi.org/10.1042/bio_2022_116
The Biochemical Society and Portland Press are committed to open scholarship. In 2020 we launched our Unlimited Read & Publish programme. This article summarizes the progress that has been made since then and explores the effect that our transitioning sales offerings have had on paywalls to published content. The share of content in our transitioning (hybrid) journals published open access (OA) is the highest it has ever been and continues to increase as more institutions take up transformative agreements with us each year. Open data and clear communication are key parts of the on-going transition, and progress with publishing workflows and data availability have been made. With over 40% of 2021’s published content in hybrid journals converted to OA, the Biochemical Society and Portland Press are also actively scoping future models. For this, we are seeking sustainable and collaborative pathways to completing our transition in a way that is globally equitable and inclusive.
The Biochemist; https://doi.org/10.1042/bio_2022_118
The body and mind are fuelled by energy. But where does the energy come from? The sun beams energy through space as photons that are captured by plants, which store that energy in the improbable separation of carbon and oxygen. By reuniting carbon and oxygen in their mitochondria, breathing animals power their warm bodies, thoughts, feelings, minds and consciousness. Thus, the life-giving flow of energy proceeds from light, through chemistry, into life. Mapping the mechanisms of energy transformation among mind-imbued organisms is the challenge for the field of mitochondrial psychobiology. Emerging evidence positions energy as the substrate of the mind–body connection, linking the molecular processes in the organism and the subjective experiences in our mind. Building a bioenergetic psychobiology framework can stimulate the health sciences in three main ways: it provides an empirical foundation to examine the interconnectedness of people and their environment, highlights health as a dynamic process, and may eventually illuminate new approaches and strategies to optimize the energetic mind–body crosstalk that is the basis of human health.
The Biochemist; https://doi.org/10.1042/bio_2022_120
Mitochondria are complex factories that provide our cells with most of the energy we need to survive and perform daily tasks. They comprise their own small genome, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which contains genes for parts of the energy-producing machinery. Mutations in mtDNA can lead to mitochondrial diseases, which are a devastating group of heterogenous inheritable diseases that can develop at any stage of life. Despite rapid developments in genome engineering for nuclear DNA, the incompatibility of certain techniques in mitochondria has meant that the field of mitochondrial genome modification has been impeded for many years. However, recent advances in mtDNA engineering techniques, such as programmable nucleases and base editors, will allow for a deeper understanding of the processes taking place in mitochondria and improve the prospects of developing treatments for mitochondrial diseases.
The Biochemist, Volume 44, pp 1-1; https://doi.org/10.1042/bio_2022_117
The Biochemist, Volume 44, pp 19-22; https://doi.org/10.1042/bio_2022_109
The use of enzymes (protein catalysts from biological origin) has been key to the development of our society and daily life since the dawn of humanity. Nowadays, the better understanding of how enzymes work and their manipulation has enabled enzymes to become a crucial technology in the current biotechnological revolution. In this sense, while enzymes in their naturally occurring form are excellent biocatalysts, they are not yet broadly implemented in industry due to their instability and poor reusability. As a solution, enzyme immobilization is a strategy that enables the preparation of more resistant, reusable and more cost-efficient biocatalysts that, combined with continuous flow technologies, have the potential to make their promise true: transition towards more cost-efficient, sustainable, and environmental friendly chemical manufacturing.
The Biochemist, Volume 44, pp 6-8; https://doi.org/10.1042/bio_2022_112
Enzymes are the catalytically active proteins, responsible for carrying out biochemistry in nature. Today, they are also finding use as catalysts in organic chemistry, both in the laboratory as well as in large-scale manufacturing of chemicals in industry. Their special properties enable sustainable syntheses, supported by tools such as protein engineering so they can be tuned to operate efficiently, thereby meeting industrial requirements.