Special Issue "Engineered Botulinum Neurotoxins for Novel Biomedical Applications"

A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651). This special issue belongs to the section "Bacterial Toxins".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Robert P. Webb
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Office of Research and Development, Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response, Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC 8101R, USA
Interests: botulinum neurotoxins, ricin toxin, marine toxins, vaccine design and assessment, select agent regulatory guidelines, dual use research of concern
Dr. Patrick Michael McNutt
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Winston-Salem, NC 27101, USA
Interests: neurotoxicology; neuropharmacology; ocular toxicology; therapeutic development

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are some of the most potent known neurotoxins and the causative agents of the neuroparalytic disease botulism. The BoNTs share a unique, common modular structure consisting of three functional domains that facilitate the presynaptic binding, neuronal uptake, intracellular delivery, and catalytic activity of the toxin. The receptor-binding domain (RBD) binds ectoreceptors on peripheral cholinergic neurons and is endocytosed within early endocytotic vesicles. Within the endosome, the BoNTs are believed to undergo a conformational change allowing the translocation domain (HN) to form a transmembrane pore through which the light chain (LC) is extruded into the cytosol. Once in the cytosol, the LC cleaves SNARE proteins critical for the vesicular trafficking of neurotransmitters, eliciting the descending, bilateral paralysis that is a hallmark of botulism. The unique and well-characterized modular functions of the three BoNT domains makes the toxin amenable to modifications for an array of biomedical applications, including atoxic forms for vaccine development, LCs with modified SNARE targets, enhanced LC activity and duration to extend therapeutic applications, and engineered RBDs to target alternative cellular targets for the treatment of hypersecretion disorders. Accompanying these innovations are the requirement to address regulatory and safety requirements as well as adhere to dual use research of concern (DURC) policies for the safe application of these powerful engineered BoNT drugs in new medical indications. Review and research articles about the potential and actual production and testing of engineered BoNTs are welcome. Furthermore, articles describing the regulatory, safety, and DURC concerns associated with the design, production, and testing of these modified proteins will also be accepted. We look forward to your response.

Dr. Robert P. Webb
Dr. Patrick Michael McNutt
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxins is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • BoNTs
  • botulism
  • botulinum toxins
  • neurotoxins
  • engineered BoNTs
  • modified targeting
  • chimeric BoNTs
  • novel therapeutics

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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