BBS Faculty Member - Min Dong

Min Dong

Associate Professor

Boston Children's Hospital
Enders Building, Room 1070
300 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Tel: 857-218-4232
Visit my lab page here.

The Dong laboratory has a broad interest in microbial toxins, bacterial infections, and host-microbe interactions. We are also utilizing toxins as tools to study fundamental cell biology questions on membrane trafficking and cytoskeleton remodeling in neurons. Along these lines of basic research, we are keen in developing microbial toxin-inspired novel protein therapeutics for treating cancer, pain, and other neurological disorders. We have a multi-disciplinary team crossing microbiology, protein engineering, cell biology, and neuroscience fields. Recent achievements include identification of receptors for C. difficile toxin via genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 screen (Nature, 2016, 538:350, Science, 2018, 360:664), identification of novel botulinum neurotoxins (Nature Communications, 2017, 8:14130; Cell Host and Microbe, 2018, 23:169), and protein engineering of botulinum neurotoxins (Nature Communications, 2017, 8:53). Current projects include:

(1) Mechanism of bacterial toxins and effectors: we are studying botulinum neurotoxins, tetanus neurotoxin, Shiga toxin, Clostridium difficile toxins, and many bacterial effectors using latest experimental approaches.

(2) Host-microbe interactions: enteric pathogens (e.g., C. difficile infections) and microbiome; urinary tract infections and urinary microbiome.

(3) Developing novel therapeutic toxins: apply modern protein engineering methods to develop novel therapeutic toxins for treating chronic pain and cancer.

(4) Cell biology of neurons: apply imaging and electrophysiological approaches to characterize synaptic vesicle exocytosis/recycling, cytoskeleton regulation, and endosomal sorting and trafficking in cells.

Please see our lab website for details:

Last Update: 6/19/2019


For a complete listing of publications click here.



Chen P*, Tao L*, Wang T, Zhang J, He A, Lam K, Liu Z, He X, Perry K, Dong M**, Jin R** (2018). Structural basis for recognition of frizzled proteins by Clostridium difficile toxin B. Science, 360:664.* co-corresponding authors.

Zhang S, Lebreton F, Mansfield MJ, Miyashita S, Zhang J, Schwartzman JA, Tao L, Masuyer G, Carranza M, Stenmark P, Gilmore MS, Doxey A*, Dong M* (2018). Identification of a botulinum neurotoxin-like toxin in a commensal strain of Enterococcus faecium, Cell Host and Microbe, 23:169-176. * co-corresponding authors.

Chevalier A, Silva DA, Rocklin G, Hicks DR, Vergara R, Murapa P, Bernard SM, Zhang L, Lam KH, Yao G, Bahl CD, Miyashita S, Goreshnik I, Fuller JT, Koday MT, Jenkins C, Colvin T, Carter L, Bohn A, Bryan CM, Velasco DA, Stewart L, Dong M, Huang X, Jin R, Wilson IA, Fuller DH, Baker D (2017). Massively parallel de novo protein design for targeted therapeutics. Nature (article), 550:74-79

Zhang S, Berntsson R, Tepp WH, Tao L, Johnson EA, Stenmark P*, and Dong M* (2017). Structural basis for the unique ganglioside and cell membrane recognition mechanism of botulinum neurotoxin DC, Nature Communications, 8, 1637. * co-corresponding authors.

Huang N, Pishesha N, Mukherjee J, Zhang S, Deshycka R, Sudaryo V, Dong M, Shoemaker CB, Lodish HF (2017). Genetically engineered red cells expressing single domain camelid antibodies confer long-term protection against botulinum neurotoxin. Nature Communications, 8:423, PMC5583347.

Tao L*, Peng L*, Berntsson R, Liu S, Park S, Yu F, Boone C, Palan S, Beard M, Chabrier P, Stenmark P**, Krupp J**, Dong M** (2017). Engineered botulinum neurotoxin B with improved efficacy for targeting human receptors. Nature Communications 8:53. * co-first authors; ** co-corresponding authors.

Zhang S, Masuyer G, Zhang J, Shen Y, Lundin D, Henriksson L, Miyashita S, Martinez-Carranza M, Dong M*, Stenmark P* (2017). Identification and characterization of a novel botulinum neurotoxin. Nature Communications 8:14130. * co-corresponding authors.

Tao L, Zhang J, Meraner P, Tovaglier A, Wu X, Gerhard R, Zhang X, Stallcup WB, Miao J, He X, Hurdle JG, Breault DT, Brass AL, Dong M (2016). Frizzled proteins are colonic epithelial receptor for C. difficile toxin B. Nature (article, 538: 350-355, doi:10.1038/nature19799).

Lee K, Zhong X, Gu S, Kruel AM, Dornet MB, Perry K, Rummel A, Dong M, Jin R (2014). Molecular basis for disruption of E-cadherin adhesion by botulinum neurotoxin A complex. Science, 344:1405-10.

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of Harvard College