Tau is an abundant microtubule-associated protein which regulates the stability of the cytoskeleton. Tau binds microtubules directly through microtubule-binding domains in its C-terminus. However, tau is not only located in the cytosol of cells, but also associated with other intracellular domains, including the plasma membrane, suggesting that tau may have additional functions other than stabilizing the neuronal cytoskeleton. Localization of tau at the cell surface appears to be dependent on interactions of the N-terminal projection domain of tau. Furthermore, membrane-associated tau is dephosphorylated at serine/threonine residues, suggesting that the phosphorylation state of tau regulates its intracellular trafficking. Dephosphorylation of tau may increase the association of tau with trafficking proteins which target tau to the plasma membrane. Thus it is possible that the hyperphosphoryation of tau may contribute to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease by promoting the formation of neurofibrillary tangles from cytosolic tau, and also by inhibiting additional tau functions through disruption of its targeting to the plasma membrane.
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Conference Article| July 26 2010
Functional implications of the association of tau with the plasma membrane
Amy M. Pooler;
Amy M. Pooler 1
1MRC Centre for Neurodegeneration Research, Department of Neuroscience (PO37), Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, U.K.
1To whom correspondence should be addressed (email firstname.lastname@example.org).
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Publisher: Portland Press Ltd
Received: January 07 2010
Online ISSN: 1470-8752
Print ISSN: 0300-5127
© The Authors Journal compilation © 2010 Biochemical Society
Amy M. Pooler, Diane P. Hanger; Functional implications of the association of tau with the plasma membrane. Biochem Soc Trans 1 August 2010; 38 (4): 1012–1015. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/BST0381012
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