tau protein

Abnormal phosphorylation of tau and the mechanism of Alzheimer neurofibrillary degeneration: Sequestration of microtubule-associated

    The microtubule-associated protein (MAP) tau is abnormally hyperphosphorylated in Alzheimer disease and accumulates in neurons undergoing neurofibrillary degeneration. In the present study, the
associations of the Alzheimer-hyperphosphorylated tau (AD P-tau) with the high molecular weight MAPs (HMW-MAPs) MAP1 and MAP2 were investigated. The AD P-tau was found to aggregate with MAP1 and MAP2 in solution. The association of AD P-tau to the MAPs resulted in inhibition of MAP-promoted microtubule assembly. However, unlike the coaggregation of AD P-tau and normal tau, the association between AD P-tau and the HMW-MAPs did not result in the formation of filaments/ tangles. The affinity of the tau-AD P-tau association was higher than that of HMW-MAPs-AD P-tau because normal tau inhibited the latter binding. The association between AD P-tau and the HMW-MAPs also appeared to occur in situ because these proteins cosedimented from the Alzheimer brain extracts, and, in the sediment, the levels of the HMW-MAPs correlated with the levels of AD P-tau. These studies suggested that the abnormally phosphorylated tau can sequester both normal tau and HMW-MAPs and disassemble microtubules but, under physiological conditions, can
form tangles of filaments only from tau.

Advanced glycation endproducts in ageing and Alzheimer's disease
     Accumulation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGE) in the brain is a feature of ageing and degeneration, especially in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Increased AGE levels explain many of the neuropathological and biochemical features of AD such as extensive protein crosslinking (ss-amyloid and MAP-tau), oxidative stress and neuronal cell death. Oxidative stress and AGEs initiate a positive feedback loop, where normal age-related changes develop into a pathophysiological cascade. Combined intervention using antioxidants, metal chelators, anti-inflammatory drugs and AGE-inhibitors may be a promising neuroprotective strategy.