ARTICLE | Targets & Mechanisms

Stabilizing tauopathies

October 28, 2010 7:00 AM UTC

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have found that low doses of the microtubule stabilizer epothilone D, a failed cancer compound from the Kosan Biosciences unit of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., could have utility in neurodegenerative tauopathies like Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal dementias.1

Neurodegenerative tauopathies are characterized by the presence of neurofibrillary tangles in neurons, which are formed by the pathological aggregation of t proteins. These proteins normally bind to and stabilize microtubules; the loss of this function increases microtubule destabilization, which could impair axonal transport and neuronal function.2 Thus, researchers have postulated that restoring microtubule stability could have a therapeutic benefit against tauopathies.3...