Tau & Ribosomes

The impact of the tau-rpS6 association in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (supported by Alzheimer’s Association NIRG-14-322441)

     The objective of this application is to determine the extent to which pathological tau affects ribosomal efficiency and transport in neurons. Our lab recently determined in AD brains that pathological tau species (hyperphosphorylated and oligomeric) associate with ribosomes (Meier et al. j neurosci 2016) and stress granule proteins (in collaboration with Dr. Wolozin; Vanderwyde et al. Cell Rep 2016) and that this association reduces ribosomal efficiency. In addition, de novo protein synthesis is necessary for memory formation and reconsolidation. Indeed, protein production is reduced in AD and other tauopathies. Finally, hyperphosphorylated tau associates with ribosomes, the hub of protein synthesis. Together, these findings suggest that the link between tau and memory impairment might reside in the inability to manufacture new proteins. Therefore, we propose that tau reduces protein synthesis and causes memory decline. In this application, we hypothesize that pathological tau attenuates ribosomal function and transport in neurons.

Modified from Abisambra JF, Scheff S. Brain injury in the context of tauopathies. J Alzheimers Dis. 2014;40(3):495-518. doi: 10.3233/JAD-131019. Review. PubMed PMID: 24496078.


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