Function and regulation of tau conformations in the development and treatment of traumatic brain injury and neurodegeneration
Lu, Kun Ping
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CitationAlbayram, Onder, Megan K. Herbert, Asami Kondo, Cheng-Yu Tsai, Sean Baxley, Xiaolan Lian, Madison Hansen, Xiao Zhen Zhou, and Kun Ping Lu. 2016. “Function and regulation of tau conformations in the development and treatment of traumatic brain injury and neurodegeneration.” Cell & Bioscience 6 (1): 59. doi:10.1186/s13578-016-0124-4. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13578-016-0124-4.
AbstractOne of the two common hallmark lesions of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) brains is neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), which are composed of hyperphosphorylated tau protein (p-tau). NFTs are also a defining feature of other neurodegenerative disorders and have recently been identified in the brains of patients suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). However, NFTs are not normally observed in traumatic brain injury (TBI) until months or years after injury. This raises the question of whether NFTs are a cause or a consequence of long-term neurodegeneration following TBI. Two conformations of phosphorylated tau, cis p-tau and trans p-tau, which are regulated by the peptidyl-prolyl isomerase Pin1, have been previously identified. By generating a polyclonal and monoclonal antibody (Ab) pair capable of distinguishing between cis and trans isoforms of p-tau (cis p-tau and trans p-tau, respectively), cis p-tau was identified as a precursor of tau pathology and an early driver of neurodegeneration in AD, TBI and CTE. Histological studies shows the appearance of robust cis p-tau in the early stages of human mild cognitive impairment (MCI), AD and CTE brains, as well as after sport- and military-related TBI. Notably, cis p-tau appears within hours after closed head injury and long before other known pathogenic p-tau conformations including oligomers, pre-fibrillary tangles and NFTs. Importantly, cis p-tau monoclonal antibody treatment not only eliminates cis p-tau induction and tau pathology, but also restores many neuropathological and functional outcome in TBI mouse models. Thus, cis p-tau is an early driver of tau pathology in TBI and CTE and detection of cis p-tau in human bodily fluids could potentially provide new diagnostic and prognostic tools. Furthermore, humanization of the cis p-tau antibody could ultimately be developed as a new treatment for AD, TBI and CTE.
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