Xiajing Tong    Assistant Professor, PI
InstituteSchool of Life Science and Technology
Research AreaNeurobiology, Synaptic transmission
Contact Info.tongxj@@shanghaitech.edu.cn

Dr. Tong obtained her bachelor’s degree from University of Science and Technology of China in 2005, and received her Ph.D. degree from Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2010. After graduation, she worked in Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology as a Research Assistant for one year. In 2011, she joined Dr. Joshua Kaplan’s lab in Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital as a Postdoctoral Fellow, and was promoted as a Research Associate in 2016. In 2017, she joined School of Life Science and Technology at ShanghaiTech University as an Assistant Professor (Tenure-track), PI.

Research Interests
Brain has high complexity and capacity. On the one hand, it stabilizes neuronal function. On the other hand, it can adjust neuronal activity according to external changes through plasticity. Disturbance of brain stability and plasticity will cause lots of neurological and psychiatric diseases, such as autism and schizophrenia. Synapse is the basic structure in the brain that mediates neuronal connections and functions. In the Tong lab, we use C. elegans as our model organism combined with studies in mammals to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of synapse homeostasis and plasticity. We deploy a collection of tools to study synapse function, including biochemistry, imaging, electrophysiology, genetics, optogenetics, and animal behaviors. Our characterization of synapse structure and function that are highly conserved from nematodes to mammals will provide insights into mechanistic understanding of human disorders related to synapse dysfunction and therapy design.

Selected Publications
1. Xia-Jing Tong, E. Javier Lopez-Soto, Lei Li, Haowen Liu, Daniel Nedelcu, Diane Lipscombe, Zhitao Hu, and Joshua M. Kaplan. Retrograde synaptic inhibition is mediated by a-Neurexin binding to the a2d subunits of N-type calcium channels. Neuron 2017 95(2):326-340.e5. (Highlighted in editor’s Choice)

2. Xia-Jing Tong*, Zhitao Hu*, Yu Liu, Dorian Anderson, Joshua M Kaplan. A network of autism linked genes stabilizes two pools of synaptic GABAA receptors. Elife, 2015, 4: e09648. (* Co-first author)

3.Zhitao Hu, Xia-Jing Tong, Joshua M. Kaplan. UNC-13L, UNC-13S, and Tomosyn form a protein code for fast and slow neurotransmitter release in Caenorhabditis elegans. Elife, 2013, 2:e00967.

4.Zhitao Hu, Sabrina Hom, Tambudzai Kudze, Xia-Jing Tong, Seungwon Choi, Gayane Aramuni, Weiqi Zhang, Joshua M. Kaplan. Neurexin and Neuroligin mediate retrograde synaptic inhibition in C. elegansScience, 2012, 337(6097), 980-4.

5.Ming-Liang Zhang*, Xia-Jing Tong*, Xiao-Hong Fu, Bo O Zhou, Jianyong Wang, Xin-Hua Liao, Qian-Jin Li, Ning Shen, Jianping Ding and Jin-Qiu Zhou. Yeast telomerase subunit Est1p has guanine quadruplex–promoting activity that is required for telomere elongation. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, 2010, 17(2): 202-209. (* Co-first author) (Highlighted by Nature China; Recommended by faculty of 1000)

6. Xia-Jing Tong, Qian-Jin Li, Yi-Min Duan, Ning-Ning Liu, Ming-Liang Zhang and Jin-Qiu Zhou. Est1 protects telomeres and inhibits subtelomeric Y´-element recombination. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 2011, 31(6):1263-74.

7. Xia-Jing Tong and Jin-Qiu Zhou. Telomere, telomerase and their biological senses. Chinese Bulletin of Life Sciences, 2009, Vol. 21, No. 6 Dec. (Review)

8.Yi-Min Duan, Bo-O. Zhou, Jing Peng, Xia-Jing Tong, Qiong-Di Zhang, Jin-Qiu Zhou. Molecular dynamics of de novo telomere heterochromatin formation in budding yeast. Journal of Genetics and Genomics, 2016, 43(7):451-65

9.Yan Hu, Hong-Bo Tang, Ning-Ning Liu, Xia-Jing Tong, Wei Dang, Yi-Min Duan, Xiao-Hong Fu, Yang Zhang, Jing Peng, Fei-Long Meng, and Jin-Qiu Zhou. Telomerase-Null survivor screening identifies novel telomere recombination regulators. PLoS Genetics, 2013, 9(1):e1003208.

10.Qian-Jin Li, Xia-Jing Tong, Yi-Min Duan, Jin-Qiu Zhou. Characterization of the intramolecular G-quadruplex promoting activity of Est1. FEBS Letter, 2013, 587(6):659-65.

11.Yuanyuan Chang, Jian Wu, Xia Jing Tong, Jin Qiu Zhou and Jianping Ding. 2010. Crystal structure of the catalytic core of Saccharomyces cerevesiae histone demethylase Rph1: insights into the substrate specificity and catalytic mechanism. Biochemical Journal, 2010, 433(2):295-302.

12.Fei-Long Meng, Yan Hu, Ning Shen, Xia-Jing Tong, Jianyong Wang, Jianping Ding and Jin-Qiu Zhou. Sua5p a single-stranded telomeric DNA-binding protein facilitates telomere replication. EMBO Journal, 2009, 28(10): 1466-1478.