Dec 15, 2015

Intracellular and extracellular microtubule associated protein tau as a therapeutic target in Alzheimer disease and other tauopathies

Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets
Jesús AvilaFélix Hernández


Microtubule associated protein tau, a protein mainly expressed in neurons, plays an important role in several diseases related to dementia, named tauopathies. Alzheimer disease is the most relevant tauopathy. The role of tau protein in dementia is now a topic under discussion, and is the focus of this review. We have covered two major areas: tau pathology and tau as a therapeutic target. Tau pathology is mainly related to a gain of toxic function due to an abnormal accumulation, aberrant modifications (such as hyperphosphorylation and truncation, among others) and self-aggregation of tau into oligomers or larger structures. Also, tau can be found extracellularly in a toxic form. Tau-based therapy is mainly centered on avoiding the gain of these toxic functions of tau. Tau therapies are focused on lowering tau levels, mainly of modified tau species that could be toxic for neurons (phosphorylated, truncated or aggregated tau), in intracellular or extracellular form. Decreasing the levels of those toxic species is a possible therapeutic strategy.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Familial Alzheimer Disease (FAD)
Alzheimer's Disease

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