Author(s): Dickey CA, Dunmore J, Lu B, Wang JW, Lee WC,
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Abstract Neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) are a characteristic neuropathological feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD), and molecular chaperones appear to be involved in the removal of disease-associated hyperphosphorylated tau, a primary component of NFTs. Here, novel HSP90 inhibitors were used to examine the impact of chaperone elevation on clearance of different tau species in transfected cells using a unique quantitative assay. The HSP90 inhibitors reduced levels of tau phosphorylated at proline-directed Ser/Thr sites (pS202/T205, pS396/S404) and conformationally altered (MC-1) tau species, an epitope that is immeasurable by standard Western blot techniques. The selective clearance of these phospho-tau species and MC-1 tau was mediated via the proteasome, while lysosomal-mediated tau degradation seems to lack specificity for certain tau species, suggesting a more general role in total tau removal. Interestingly, tau phosphorylated at S262/S356 within the tau microtubule binding domain was minimally affected by chaperone induction. Overall, our data show that chaperone induction results in the selective clearance of specific phospho-tau and conformationally altered tau species mediated by the proteasome; however, the apparent stability of pS262/S356 tau may also explain why MARK is able to regulate normal tau function yet still be linked to the initiation of pathogenic tau hyperphosphorylation in AD.
This article was published in FASEB J
and referenced in Journal of Alzheimers Disease & Parkinsonism