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GSK-3beta phosphorylation of functionally distinct tau isoforms has differential, but mild effects.

Voss K, Gamblin TC - Mol Neurodegener (2009)

Bottom Line: We have found that each isoform has a unique microtubule binding and polymerization profile that is altered by GSK-3beta.These results indicate that tau phosphorylation by a single kinase can have isoform specific outcomes.The mild nature of these changes, however, makes it unlikely that differential effects of GSK-3beta phosphorylation on the isoforms are causative in neurodegenerative disease.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Molecular Biosciences, University of Kansas, 1200 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA. gamblin@ku.edu.

ABSTRACT

Background: Tau protein exists as six different isoforms that differ by the inclusion or exclusion of exons 2, 3 and 10. Exon 10 encodes a microtubule binding repeat, thereby resulting in three isoforms with three microtubule binding repeats (3R) and three isoforms that have four microtubule binding repeats (4R). In normal adult brain, the relative amounts of 3R tau and 4R tau are approximately equal. These relative protein levels are preserved in Alzheimer's disease, although in other neurodegenerative tauopathies such as progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration and Pick's disease, the ratio of 3R:4R is frequently altered. Because tau isoforms are not equally involved in these diseases, it is possible that they either have inherently unique characteristics owing to their primary structures or that post-translational modification, such as phosphorylation, differentially affects their properties.

Results: We have determined the effects of phosphorylation by a kinase widely believed to be involved in neurodegenerative processes, glycogen synthase kinase-3beta (GSK-3beta), on the microtubule binding and inducer-initiated polymerization of these isoforms in vitro. We have found that each isoform has a unique microtubule binding and polymerization profile that is altered by GSK-3beta. GSK-3beta phosphorylation had differential effects on the isoforms although there were similarities between isoforms and the effects were generally mild.

Conclusion: These results indicate that tau phosphorylation by a single kinase can have isoform specific outcomes. The mild nature of these changes, however, makes it unlikely that differential effects of GSK-3beta phosphorylation on the isoforms are causative in neurodegenerative disease. Instead, the inherent differences in the isoform interactions themselves and local conditions in the diseased cells are likely the major determinant of isoform involvement in various neurodegenerative disorders.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Differences between tau isoforms. (A) The six tau isoforms differ by the presence or absence of N-terminal exons 2 and 3 and the presence or absence of the C-terminal exon 10, which encodes microtubule binding repeat 2. Labels on the left indicate the isoform name, while labels on the right indicate the number of amino acids present in each corresponding isoform. (B) Each lane is labeled with the name of the isoform analyzed. Each isoform migrates a distinct distance on a Coomassie stained 10% SDS-polyacrylamide gel.
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Figure 1: Differences between tau isoforms. (A) The six tau isoforms differ by the presence or absence of N-terminal exons 2 and 3 and the presence or absence of the C-terminal exon 10, which encodes microtubule binding repeat 2. Labels on the left indicate the isoform name, while labels on the right indicate the number of amino acids present in each corresponding isoform. (B) Each lane is labeled with the name of the isoform analyzed. Each isoform migrates a distinct distance on a Coomassie stained 10% SDS-polyacrylamide gel.

Mentions: The tau transcript is alternatively spliced in humans to form six isoforms. These isoforms (0N3R, 0N4R, 1N3R, 1N4R, 2N3R, 2N4R) are classified by the presence or absence of N-terminal exons 2, 3, and C-terminal exon 10 (containing microtubule binding repeat 2) (Figure 1a). We expressed and purified each recombinant isoform from E. coli (Figure 1b). The isoform identity was confirmed by molecular weight determination on coomassie stained-sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) as compared to expected values in the literature [9,20].


GSK-3beta phosphorylation of functionally distinct tau isoforms has differential, but mild effects.

Voss K, Gamblin TC - Mol Neurodegener (2009)

Differences between tau isoforms. (A) The six tau isoforms differ by the presence or absence of N-terminal exons 2 and 3 and the presence or absence of the C-terminal exon 10, which encodes microtubule binding repeat 2. Labels on the left indicate the isoform name, while labels on the right indicate the number of amino acids present in each corresponding isoform. (B) Each lane is labeled with the name of the isoform analyzed. Each isoform migrates a distinct distance on a Coomassie stained 10% SDS-polyacrylamide gel.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2683827&req=5

Figure 1: Differences between tau isoforms. (A) The six tau isoforms differ by the presence or absence of N-terminal exons 2 and 3 and the presence or absence of the C-terminal exon 10, which encodes microtubule binding repeat 2. Labels on the left indicate the isoform name, while labels on the right indicate the number of amino acids present in each corresponding isoform. (B) Each lane is labeled with the name of the isoform analyzed. Each isoform migrates a distinct distance on a Coomassie stained 10% SDS-polyacrylamide gel.
Mentions: The tau transcript is alternatively spliced in humans to form six isoforms. These isoforms (0N3R, 0N4R, 1N3R, 1N4R, 2N3R, 2N4R) are classified by the presence or absence of N-terminal exons 2, 3, and C-terminal exon 10 (containing microtubule binding repeat 2) (Figure 1a). We expressed and purified each recombinant isoform from E. coli (Figure 1b). The isoform identity was confirmed by molecular weight determination on coomassie stained-sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) as compared to expected values in the literature [9,20].

Bottom Line: We have found that each isoform has a unique microtubule binding and polymerization profile that is altered by GSK-3beta.These results indicate that tau phosphorylation by a single kinase can have isoform specific outcomes.The mild nature of these changes, however, makes it unlikely that differential effects of GSK-3beta phosphorylation on the isoforms are causative in neurodegenerative disease.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Molecular Biosciences, University of Kansas, 1200 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA. gamblin@ku.edu.

ABSTRACT

Background: Tau protein exists as six different isoforms that differ by the inclusion or exclusion of exons 2, 3 and 10. Exon 10 encodes a microtubule binding repeat, thereby resulting in three isoforms with three microtubule binding repeats (3R) and three isoforms that have four microtubule binding repeats (4R). In normal adult brain, the relative amounts of 3R tau and 4R tau are approximately equal. These relative protein levels are preserved in Alzheimer's disease, although in other neurodegenerative tauopathies such as progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration and Pick's disease, the ratio of 3R:4R is frequently altered. Because tau isoforms are not equally involved in these diseases, it is possible that they either have inherently unique characteristics owing to their primary structures or that post-translational modification, such as phosphorylation, differentially affects their properties.

Results: We have determined the effects of phosphorylation by a kinase widely believed to be involved in neurodegenerative processes, glycogen synthase kinase-3beta (GSK-3beta), on the microtubule binding and inducer-initiated polymerization of these isoforms in vitro. We have found that each isoform has a unique microtubule binding and polymerization profile that is altered by GSK-3beta. GSK-3beta phosphorylation had differential effects on the isoforms although there were similarities between isoforms and the effects were generally mild.

Conclusion: These results indicate that tau phosphorylation by a single kinase can have isoform specific outcomes. The mild nature of these changes, however, makes it unlikely that differential effects of GSK-3beta phosphorylation on the isoforms are causative in neurodegenerative disease. Instead, the inherent differences in the isoform interactions themselves and local conditions in the diseased cells are likely the major determinant of isoform involvement in various neurodegenerative disorders.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus