Asparagine residue 368 is involved in Alzheimer's disease tau strain–specific aggregationIn tauopathies, tau forms pathogenic fibrils with distinct conformations (termed “tau strains”) and acts as an aggregation “seed” templating the conversion of normal tau into isomorphic fibrils. Previous research showed that the aggregation core of tau fibril covers the C-terminal region (243–406 amino acids (aa)) and differs among the diseases. However, the mechanisms by which distinct fibrous structures are formed and inherited via templated aggregation are still unknown. Here, we sought to identify the key sequences of seed-dependent aggregation.
Tau isoform expression and phosphorylation in marmoset brainsTau is a microtubule-associated protein expressed in neuronal axons. Hyperphosphorylated tau is a major component of neurofibrillary tangles, a pathological hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Hyperphosphorylated tau aggregates are also found in many neurodegenerative diseases, collectively referred to as “tauopathies,” and tau mutations are associated with familial frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). Previous studies have generated transgenic mice with mutant tau as tauopathy models, but nonhuman primates, which are more similar to humans, may be a better model to study tauopathies.
Isoform-independent and -dependent phosphorylation of microtubule-associated protein tau in mouse brain during postnatal developmentTau is a microtubule (MT)-associated protein that regulates MT dynamics in the axons of neurons. Tau binds to MTs via its C-terminal MT-binding repeats. There are two types of tau, those with three (3R) or four (4R) MT-binding repeats; 4R tau has a stronger MT-stabilizing activity than 3R tau. The MT-stabilizing activity of tau is regulated by phosphorylation. Interestingly, both the isoform and phosphorylation change at the time of neuronal circuit formation during postnatal development; highly phosphorylated 3R tau is replaced with 4R tau, which is less phosphorylated.
Following the fate of endocytosed fibrilsCell-to-cell transmission of intracellular protein aggregates is considered a central event in many neurodegenerative diseases, but little is known about the underlying molecular mechanisms. A new study employs fluorescence quenching to examine the fate of α-synuclein, a key molecule in the pathology of Parkinson's disease and related disorders, in primary cultured neurons, finding that endocytosis and lysosomal processing of exogenous fibrils may explain the transmission of α-synuclein pathology.
The Effect of Fragmented Pathogenic α-Synuclein Seeds on Prion-like PropagationAggregates of abnormal proteins are widely observed in neuronal and glial cells of patients with various neurodegenerative diseases, and it has been proposed that prion-like behavior of these proteins can account for not only the onset but also the progression of these diseases. However, it is not yet clear which abnormal protein structures function most efficiently as seeds for prion-like propagation. In this study, we aimed to identify the most pathogenic species of α-synuclein (α-syn), the main component of the Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites that are observed in α-synucleinopathies.
α-Synuclein Fibrils Exhibit Gain of Toxic Function, Promoting Tau Aggregation and Inhibiting Microtubule Assemblyα-Synuclein is the major component of Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites in Parkinson disease and dementia with Lewy bodies and of glial cytoplasmic inclusions in multiple system atrophy. It has been suggested that α-synuclein fibrils or intermediate protofibrils in the process of fibril formation may have a toxic effect on neuronal cells. In this study, we investigated the ability of soluble monomeric α-synuclein to promote microtubule assembly and the effects of conformational changes of α-synuclein on Tau-promoted microtubule assembly.
Templated Aggregation of TAR DNA-binding Protein of 43 kDa (TDP-43) by Seeding with TDP-43 Peptide FibrilsTAR DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa (TDP-43) has been identified as the major component of ubiquitin-positive neuronal and glial inclusions in frontotemporal lobar degeneration and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Aggregation of TDP-43 to amyloid-like fibrils and spreading of the aggregates are suggested to account for the pathogenesis and progression of these diseases. To investigate the molecular mechanisms of TDP-43 aggregation, we attempted to identify the amino acid sequence required for the aggregation.
Phosphorylation of TAR DNA-binding Protein of 43 kDa (TDP-43) by Truncated Casein Kinase 1δ Triggers Mislocalization and Accumulation of TDP-43Intracellular aggregates of phosphorylated TDP-43 are a major component of ubiquitin-positive inclusions in the brains of patients with frontotemporal lobar degeneration and ALS and are considered a pathological hallmark. Here, to gain insight into the mechanism of intracellular TDP-43 accumulation, we examined the relationship between phosphorylation and aggregation of TDP-43. We found that expression of a hyperactive form of casein kinase 1 δ (CK1δ1-317, a C-terminally truncated form) promotes mislocalization and cytoplasmic accumulation of phosphorylated TDP-43 (ubiquitin- and p62-positive) in cultured neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells.