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Publication : Zinc binding directly regulates tau toxicity independent of tau hyperphosphorylation.

First Author  Huang Yunpeng Year  2014
Journal  Cell Rep Volume  8
Pages  831-42 PubMed ID  25066125
Abstract Text  Tau hyperphosphorylation is thought to underlie tauopathy. Working in a Drosophila tauopathy model expressing a human Tau mutant (hTauR406W, or Tau(∗)), we show that zinc contributes to the development of Tau toxicity through two independent actions: by increasing Tau phosphorylation and, more significantly, by directly binding to Tau. Elimination of zinc binding through amino acid substitution of Cys residues has a minimal effect on phosphorylation levels yet essentially eliminates Tau toxicity. The toxicity of the zinc-binding-deficient mutant Tau(∗) (Tau(∗)C2A) and overexpression of native Drosophila Tau, also lacking the corresponding zinc-binding Cys residues, are largely impervious to zinc concentration. Importantly, restoration of zinc-binding ability to Tau(∗) by introduction of a zinc-binding residue (His) into the original Cys positions restores zinc-responsive toxicities in proportion to zinc-binding affinities. These results indicate zinc binding is a substantial contributor to tauopathy and have implications for therapy development. Doi  10.1016/j.celrep.2014.06.047
Issue  3 Month  Aug

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