Instruction For Authors

2022 May Last Updated


Molecules and Cells (Mol. Cells) is an international on-line open-access journal devoted to the advancement and dissemination of fundamental knowledge in all areas of biology. Reports on a broad range of topics of general interest to molecular and cell biologists are published. The journal will not publish papers that simply report cloning and sequencing of a gene or preliminary X-ray crystallographic analysis without providing evidences for further biological significance. It is published on the last day of each month by The Korean Society for Molecular and Cellular Biology (KSMCB).

Types of Papers

There are two types of papers in Mol. Cells: minireviews and research articles. Minireviews are brief summaries (up to 3,000 words) of recent progress in fast moving areas. They must be based on published articles and may address any subjects within the scope of Mol. Cells. Minireviews are invited by the editors and mostly subjected to editorial review. Investigators planning to submit minireviews should provide a potential title and subject of the review article to the editor to seek invitation.
There are three categories of research articles: Fast-Track, Rapid Report, and Regular. The Fast-Track article section is for papers of high quality and urgency. Papers which were finally declined after extensive revision(s) from journals that rank within top 20% in a Journal Citation Reports category are eligible for consideration. The Rapid Report article section is for short manuscripts presenting important/urgent findings that potentially have a substantial impact to the scientific community. These papers include 1-2 core data and text with about 2,000 words.
Lastly, Mol. Cells launches a new type of article: Journal Club. Journal Club highlights one or several exciting and outbreaking research papers recently published in top-tier journals, placing the results in context for the journal’s broad readership. Journal Club is approximately 1,000 words in length with no more than 10 references and one figure. Most Journal Club is commissioned, but timely unsolicited contributions will be considered.

Submission of Papers

Submission of a manuscript implies that the work described has not been published before (except in the form of an abstract, a part of a published lecture or an academic thesis) and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere; that its publication has been approved by all co-authors as well as – tacitly or explicitly – by the responsible authorities, if any, of the institution where the work was carried out. Submission of a manuscript also implies that each of the authors confirms that his/her contribution is original and that each author signs for and accepts the responsibility for the content of all submitted materials.
All submissions to Mol. Cells must be made electronically via the web-enabled online manuscript submission and review system: (E-mail submissions will not be accepted). Information regarding acceptable types of files for submission can be found at the on-line submission page of the journal homepage. To submit an article, authors need to upload the Word file of the manuscript which includes a title, keywords, main text, and references. Upload the figures separately as gif, jpeg, tif, or pdf files. Tables should be uploaded as doc or xls files. Authors whose primary language is not English should have their manuscripts edited by an English proofreader. An email will be sent to all authors listed in the paper to notify the submission.
All queries regarding the submission process should be directed to the editorial office.

Open Access Agreement

Upon submitting a paper to Mol. Cells, authors are asked to declare their agreement to abide by the open access Creative Commons license 3.0. Contents of articles may be copied, distributed, and displayed without charge. Commercial use of the contents or their derivatives are also free of charge. However, the original authors must be given the credit for any reuse or distribution, and the license terms of the article must be made clear. Conditions of any kind can be waived if the authors give permission. For more information regarding the Open Access Agreement, please visit


Manuscripts submitted to Mol. Cells must represent reports of original research. Only papers that report novel and significant scientific findings in the field of molecular and cellular biology will be considered and accepted for publication. Submission of a manuscript implies that the presented work has not been published previously and is not concurrently under consideration for publication elsewhere.


Authorship Anyone who made a substantial contribution to the work may be included as an author. All authors of each manuscript are responsible for the entire paper and must have agreed that the corresponding author has the authority to act on their behalf on all matters pertaining to publication of the manuscript. To avoid any possible dispute during processing, authorship changes including the order of authors’ names during revision must be agreed upon by all of the authors and brought to the editor’s attention in the cover letter submitted with the revised version.
The journal follows the recommendations for authorship by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE;
Authorship credit should be based on (1) substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; (2) drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; (3) final approval of the version to be published; and (4) agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. Authors should meet conditions of 1, 2, 3, and 4.
Contributors who meet fewer than all 4 of the above criteria for authorship should not be listed as authors, but they should be acknowledged. Examples of activities that alone (without other contributions) do not qualify a contributor for authorship are acquisition of funding; general supervision of a research group or general administrative support; and writing assistance, technical editing, language editing, and proofreading.

Data and code availability

Molecules and Cells encourages you to publish your original unprocessed data and the code used for data analysis alongside your paper through KoNA. We will link your published paper to the data and code and will also link your data back to the published paper. Therefore, deposition of the data and code to a reliable repository (see the example repositories below) is required.


  • Protein Sequences: UniProt
  • DNA/RNA Sequences: GenBank, ENA (European Nucleotide Archive), DDBJ (DNA Data Bank of Japan), PDB (Protein Data Bank), or UniProt
  • SNPs and CNVs: dbSNP (database of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms), DGVa (Database of Genomic Variants archive), or dbVar (database of Genomic Structural Variation)
  • Human Sequence Data: dbGaP (database of Genotypes and Phenotypes) or similar repository
  • Structures of Biological Macromolecules: wwPDB (Worldwide Protein Data Bank), PDBe (Protein Data Bank in Europe), or EMDataBank. Atomic coordinates fitted to EM maps must also be deposited to a wwPDB member site.
  • Structures of Small Molecules: Cambridge Structural Database (CSD) or PubChem
  • Omics data: GEO, ArrayExpress, SRA, dbGaP, PRIDE (proteomic data), etc. If you would like to upload the data associated with Molecules and Cells, please click here for instructions.


Please click here to upload your codes through GitHub.

If you have deposited your data or code in public databases, the database IDs must be included in “Data and code availability“ of the manuscript (see example descriptions below).

Moreover, Molecules and Cells encourages you to publish raw data used to create all graphs in the manuscript as supplementary data or to state that all data can be provided upon request in “Data and code availability“ (see example descriptions below).

  • Uncropped scans of all Western blots and all raw data used to create all graphs can be found in Data S1.
  • Any additional information required to reanalyse the data reported in this paper is available from the contact upon request.

Studies Involving Humans and Animals

For manuscripts reporting studies on human subjects, statements should appear in the Materials and Methods section confirming that the IRB committee approving the study and obtaining prior consent from all subjects. All experiments on live vertebrates or higher invertebrates must be performed in accordance with relevant institutional and national guidelines. We suggest that researchers carrying out experiments with animals refer to the ARRIVE guidelines and recommendations from an NIH-sponsored workshop regarding experimental design and reporting standards.

Transparency in Data Reporting

We strongly discourage the use of bar graphs to report mean ± SEM values. We prefer scatter plots that show all the individual data points and standard deviation (SD) to represent variation. Cropped images of gels or immunoblots should indicate the positions of molecular weight markers above and below the bands of interest, which should be exposed and quantified appropriately. If gel/blot images were spliced for presentation purposes, the positions of splice sites must be clearly indicated.

All manuscripts are reviewed confidentially by at least 2 or more members of the editorial board and qualified reviewers (single-blind peer review). When a manuscript is submitted to Mol. Cells, it is given a manuscript number and assigned to one of the members of the editorial board for review. The manuscript number should be referred to in any subsequent communications between the corresponding author and the editor or the editorial office. The reviewers operate under the preset guidelines and are expected to complete the review within 14 days. The corresponding author is generally notified of the reviewers’ decision (accepted, rejected, accepted after minor revision, major revision and re-review) from the editorial office within 3 weeks of submission. When a manuscript is returned for revision, it should be revised and resubmitted to the editor within 3 months, or it may be considered withdrawn. The authors should supply point-by-point responses to the reviewers’ comments along with the modified or revised manuscript. Manuscripts that have been rejected or withdrawn may be resubmitted if the major criticisms have been properly addressed. As with the initial submission, resubmitted manuscripts should be accompanied by a cover letter stating the manuscript is a resubmission and describing in detail the changes that have been made. The editor who handled the original submission will normally be responsible for the resubmitted manuscript.

Similarity Check

Similarity Check is a multipublisher initiative to screen published and submitted content for originality. To find out more about Similarity Check, visit All manuscripts submitted to Mol. Cells are subject to screening using the iThenticate tool for textual similarity to other previously published works.

Fast-Track Articles

The papers submitted to the ‘Fast-Track article’ section will be screened by Editorial Board members. The final decision will be made without external peer review within a week. The papers accepted in the ‘Fast-Track article’ will be published online within a month. A paper rejected from the ‘Fast-Track article’ may be re-submitted as a ‘Regular’ research article.

Rapid Report

The papers submitted to the 'Rapid Report' section will be screened by Editorial Board members. The final decision will be made within two weeks. The papers accepted in the 'Rapid Report' will be published online within a month.

Notification of Acceptance

When an editor has decided that a manuscript is acceptable for publication, the corresponding author and the editorial office will be notified. The editorial office will check if the manuscript was prepared according to the guidelines although the authors are primarily responsible for formatting of the paper.

Galley Proofs

The editorial office will send a galley proof and a copyright transfer agreement form to the corresponding author. Galley proof should be corrected, signed by the corresponding author and sent back to the editorial office within 48 hours. Extensive corrections, additions, or deletions should not be made during the proof stage. Changes should be limited to correction of simple errors (e.g., spelling) and updated information regarding references. Important new information or references to unpublished data or personal communications that have become available after the acceptance may be added with the permission of the editor.

Publication Fee

Currently 1,500 (member)/2,250 (non-member) US dollars per paper.

Ethical Considerations

Research frauds including forgeries, falsifications, plagiarisms, double publications, improper inclusion or exclusion of authors, etc. are strictly forbidden and will be dealt with guidelines set by the editorial board of Mol. Cells. The editor reserves the right to reject papers if ethical standards are not satisfactorily met.
For detailed guidelines and regulations please visit

Cover Letter

A cover letter should submitted along with the manuscript. Authors should briefly describe the content, novelty and significance of the work presented. Compliance with all ethical standards should be stated and declaration of all potential conflicts of interest or lack thereof should be made in the cover letter.

General Organization

The standard organization of a research article is as follows: (a) Abstract, in less than 250 words, (b) Introduction, in less than two typed pages, (c) Materials and Methods, (d) Results, (e) Discussion, (f) Acknowledgments, (g) Author Contributions, (h) Conflict of Interest, (i) All Authors’ ORCID, (j) References. Combining Results and Discussion sections is permitted. There are no length restrictions for manuscripts.

  • The title should be informative, clear and as short as possible. The numbering of parts, sections or sub-sections is not permitted.
  • List full names of all authors. A footnote to an author, indicating a change of address, should be provided on the title page using numeral superscript: 1, 2, 3. The asterisk symbol * should be reserved for the author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
  • List the institutions in which the work was carried out. Identify the affiliations of all authors and their institutions, departments, or organizations by using numeral superscript.
  • Provide a short running title of less than 60 characters.


The abstract should not exceed 250 words, and should concisely summarize the basic content of the paper. Experimental details should not be presented in the abstract. Avoid specialized terms, diagrams, and references.


The introduction should state the purpose of the investigation and its relation to other works in the same field, but should not present an extensive review of the literature.

Materials and Methods

Materials and Methods should be brief, but sufficiently detailed to permit repetition of the work by a qualified investigator.
Refer to published procedures by citing both the original description and pertinent modifications. Do not include extensive details unless they constitute a significant new modification. A simple noting is sufficient for commonly used materials and methods (e.g., commercial media).
Describe new methods completely and give sources of unusual chemicals, instruments, or microbial strains. When large numbers of microbial strains or mutants are used in a study, include strain tables identifying the sources and properties of the strains, mutants, bacteriophages, plasmids, etc.


The Results section should describe the results of the experiments. Extensive interpretation should be reserved for the Discussion section. Present the results as concisely as possible using text, table(s), or figure(s). Avoid presenting essentially identical data in both tables and figures. Also avoid extensive use of graphs to present data that can be concisely presented in the text or tables. Limit photographs (particularly photomicrographs, electron micrographs, and photographs of gel patterns) to those that are absolutely necessary for presenting the experimental findings. Number figures and tables according to the order of citation in the text.


The Discussion section should be concise and provide an interpretation of the results in relation to previously published works and to the experimental system at hand. It should not contain extensive repetition of contents of the Results section or reiteration of the Introduction.


Acknowledge personal assistances and financial supports. The usual format for grant support is as follows: “This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean Government (2014-0009917).”

Author Contributions

An explicit statement describing each author’s contributions to the manuscript is required in the manuscript.
Example: A.B.C. and D.E.F. conceived and performed experiments, wrote the manuscript, and secured funding. G.H.I., J.K.L., and M.N. performed experiments. O.P.Q. and R.S. provided reagents. T.U.V., W.X., and Y.Z. provided expertise and feedback.

Conflict of Interest

Conflict of interest exists when an author or the author’s institution, reviewer, or editor has financial or personal relationships that inappropriately influence or bias his or her actions. Such relationships are also known as dual commitments, competing interests, or competing loyalties. These relationships vary from being negligible to having a great potential for influencing judgment. Not all relationships represent true conflict of interest. On the other hand, the potential for conflict of interest can exist regardless of whether an individual believes that the relationship affects his or her scientific judgment. Financial relationships such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, and paid expert testimony are the most easily identifiable conflicts of interest and the most likely to undermine the credibility of the journal, the authors, or of the science itself. Conflicts can occur for other reasons as well, such as personal relationships, academic competition, and intellectual passion ( If there are any conflicts of interest, authors should disclose them in the manuscript. The conflicts of interest may occur during the research process as well; however, it is important to provide disclosure. If there is a disclosure, editors, reviewers, and reader can approach the manuscript after understanding the situation and the background of the completed research.

ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID)

All authors are recommended to provide ORCID. To obtain an ORCID, authors should register in the ORCID web site: Registration is free to every researcher in the world.


Cite relevant published works in the text, from Introduction to Discussion. Citing styles Kim and Kang (1987) or (Kim and Kang, 1987) are both acceptable. When a paper cited has three or more authors, use the style Chung et al. (1989) or (Chung et al., 1989). Use (Park, 1983a) and (Park, 1983b) when citing more than one paper by the same author(s) published in the same year.


References should include only articles that are published or in press. Do not list the following in the References section: unpublished data, personal communications, manuscripts in preparation, manuscripts submitted, pamphlets, abstracts, and materials that have not been subjected to peer review. Refer to such sources parenthetically in the text. Do not cite abstracts of papers presented at scientific meetings as references unless they appear in publications included in the Biological Abstracts List of Serials. Please use the following style for references.

Article in a periodical:
Wildin, R.S., Ramsdell, F., Peake, J., Faravelli, F., Casanova, J.L., Buist, N., Levy-Lahad, E., Mazzella, M., Goulet, O., Perroni, L., et al. (2001). X-linked neonatal diabetes mellitus, enteropathy and endocrinopathy syndrome is the human equivalent of mouse scurfy. Nat. Genet. 27, 18-20.

Article in a book:
Daniell, H., Camrmona-Sanchez, O., and Burns, B. (2004). Chloroplast derived antibodies, biopharmaceuticals and edible vaccines. In Molecular Farming, R. Rischer and S. Schillberg, eds. (Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH Verlag), pp. 113-133.

An entire book:
Wickner, R.B., Esteban, R., and Suzuki, N. (2000). Virus Taxonomy (San Jose, CA: Academic Press).

If there are more than 10 authors, list the first 10 authors followed by “et al.” When citing as references the papers in press, the abbreviated name of the journal should be preceded by the estimated date (year) of publication and followed by the words “in press”. Abbreviate journal names as in Chemical Abstracts or Biological Abstracts List of Serials (Biosis). Include first and last page numbers. Responsibility for the accuracy of bibliographic references rests entirely with the author(s).


Tables should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numbers in order of appearance in the text. Type each table double-spaced on a separate page with a short descriptive title typed directly above and with essential footnotes below. Footnotes to tables should be identified with the italic superscript lower case alphabet and placed at the bottom of the table.


Figures should be approximately the same size as you would like them to appear in print. Prepare and submit your figures as gif, jpeg, tif, or pdf files with more than 300 dpi resolution. Number figures consecutively with Arabic numbers.

Figure Legends

Legends should provide enough information for the figure to be understandable without frequent references to the text. However, detailed experimental methods should be described in the Materials and Methods sections. A method that is unique to one of several experiments may be reported in the legend if it can be described very briefly (in one or two sentences). Define all symbols and abbreviations used in the figure that have not been defined elsewhere.

Units and Abbreviations

The journal recognizes the adoption of the International System of Units (SI Units) proposed in Units, Symbols and Abbreviations. Other abbreviations should be used only for unwieldy names and only when they occur frequently. Where such non-standard abbreviations are used, a glossary should be provided.

Supplementary Materials

Mol. Cells accepts electronic supplementary materials to support and enhance the report. Supplementary Materials section offers opportunities to publish supporting applications, movies, animation sequences, high-resolution images, background datasets, sound clips, etc. Each type of supplementary material should be numbered independently (Figure S1, Figure S2, Table S1, etc.) and referred to in the main text. Supplementary files supplied will be published online alongside the electronic version of your article in Mol. Cells web site. To ensure that your submitted material is directly usable, please provide the data in commonly used text, graphic, multimedia formats. Authors should submit the materials in electronic format together with the article and supply a concise and descriptive caption for each file.


The Erratum section is intended for correcting errors that occurred during typing, editing, or printing in already published article. Send Errata to the editorial office by e-mail (


The Corrigendum section is for correcting errors of a scientific nature or omission that do not affect the original conclusion of a published article. Send the corrections to the editorial office by e-mail (

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eISSN 0219-1032

Published by the Korean Society for Molecular and Cellular Biology (KSMCB)

The Korea Science Technology Center (Rm. 1105), 22, 7 Gil, Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 06130, Korea

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The Korean Society for Molecular and Cellular Biology (KSMCB)
The Korea Science Technology Center (Rm. 1105), 22, 7 Gil, Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 06130, Korea
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Mol. Cells
Sep 30, 2023 Vol.46 No.9, pp. 527~572
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is marked by airspace enlargement (emphysema) and small airway fibrosis, leading to airflow obstruction and eventual respiratory failure. Shown is a microphotograph of hematoxylin and eosin (H&E)-stained histological sections of the enlarged alveoli as an indicator of emphysema. Piao et al. (pp. 558-572) demonstrate that recombinant human hyaluronan and proteoglycan link protein 1 (rhHAPLN1) significantly reduces the extended airspaces of the emphysematous alveoli by increasing the levels of TGF-β receptor I and SIRT1/6, as a previously unrecognized mechanism in human alveolar epithelial cells, and consequently mitigates COPD.

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