ARTICLE | Targets & Mechanisms

The TAU of PD

February 23, 2012 8:00 AM UTC

An Australian team has shown that loss of microtubule-associated protein-t leads to accumulation of toxic intracellular iron, a shared feature of Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.1 The findings could mean that companies developing AD therapies that target the aggregated protein will need to be mindful of iron levels.

Microtubule-associated protein-t (MAPT; TAU; FTDP-17) is a structural component of the cytoskeleton that helps neurons move proteins to distant synapses. In AD, TAU becomes hyperphosphorylated and forms large aggregates called neurofibrillary tangles that are thought to hasten the destruction of neurons...