2311 Aberdeen Blvd Ste A
Gastonia NC 28054
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Three- and four-repeat tau regulate the dynamic instability of two distinct microtubule subpopulations in qualitatively different manners. Implications for neurodegeneration. - The Journal of biological chemistry
The microtubule-associated protein tau is implicated in the pathogenesis of many neurodegenerative diseases, including fronto-temporal dementia and parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17 (FTDP-17), in which both RNA splicing and amino acid substitution mutations in tau cause dominantly inherited early onset dementia. RNA-splicing FTDP-17 mutations alter the wild-type approximately 50:50 3-repeat (3R) to 4-repeat (4R) tau isoform ratio, usually resulting in an excess of 4R tau. To examine further how splicing mutations might cause dysfunction by misregulation of microtubule dynamics, we used video microscopy to determine the in vitro behavior of individual microtubules stabilized by varying amounts of human 4R and 3R tau. At low tau:tubulin ratios (1:55 and 1:45), all 3R isoforms reduced microtubule growth rates relative to the no-tau control, whereas all 4R isoforms increased them; however, at a high tau:tubulin ratio (1:20), both 4R and 3R tau increased the growth rates. Further analysis revealed two distinct subpopulations of growing microtubules in the absence of tau. Increasing concentrations of both 4R and 3R tau resulted in an increase in the size of the faster growing subpopulation of microtubules; however, 4R tau caused a redistribution to the faster growing subpopulation at lower tau:tubulin ratios than 3R tau. This modulation of discrete growth rate subpopulations by tau suggests that tau causes a conformational shift in the microtubule resulting in altered dynamics. Quantitative and qualitative differences observed between 4R and 3R tau are consistent with a "microtubule misregulation" model in which abnormal tau isoform expression results in the inability to properly regulate microtubule dynamics, leading to neuronal death and dementia.
SNP detection using peptide nucleic acid probes and conjugated polymers: applications in neurodegenerative disease identification. - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
A strategy employing a combination of peptide nucleic acid (PNA) probes, an optically amplifying conjugated polymer (CP), and S1 nuclease enzyme is capable of detecting SNPs in a simple, rapid, and sensitive manner. The recognition is accomplished by sequence-specific hybridization between the uncharged, fluorescein-labeled PNA probe and the DNA sequence of interest. After subsequent treatment with S1 nuclease, the cationic water soluble CP electrostatically associates with the remaining anionic PNA/DNA complex, leading to sensitized emission of the labeled PNA probe via FRET from the CP. The generation of fluorescent signal is controlled by strand-specific electrostatic interactions and is governed by the complementarity of the probe/target pair. To assess the method, we compared the ability of the sensor system to detect normal, wild-type human DNA sequences, and those sequences containing a single base mutation. Specifically, we examined a PNA probe complementary to a region of the gene encoding the microtubule associated protein tau. The probe sequence covers a known point mutation implicated in a dominant neurodegenerative dementia known as frontotemporal dementia with parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17 (FTDP-17), which has clinical and molecular similarities to Alzheimer's disease. By using an appropriate PNA probe, the conjugated polymer poly[(9,9-bis(6'-N,N,N-trimethylammoniumhexylbromide)fluorene)-co-phenylene] and S1 nuclease, unambiguous FRET signaling is achieved for the wild-type DNA and not the mutant sequence harboring the SNP. Distance relationships in the CP/PNA assay are also discussed to highlight constraints and demonstrate improvements within the system.
Evidence for two distinct binding sites for tau on microtubules. - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
The microtubule-associated protein tau regulates diverse and essential microtubule functions, from the nucleation and promotion of microtubule polymerization to the regulation of microtubule polarity and dynamics, as well as the spacing and bundling of axonal microtubules. Thermodynamic studies show that tau interacts with microtubules in the low- to mid-nanomolar range, implying moderate binding affinity. At the same time, it is well established that microtubule-bound tau does not undergo exchange with the bulk medium readily, suggesting that the tau-microtubule interaction is essentially irreversible. Given this dilemma, we investigated the mechanism of interaction between tau and microtubules in kinetic detail. Stopped-flow kinetic analysis reveals moderate binding affinity between tau and preassembled microtubules and rapid dissociation/association kinetics. In contrast, when microtubules are generated by copolymerization of tubulin and tau, a distinct population of microtubule-bound tau is observed, the binding of which seems irreversible. We propose that reversible binding occurs between tau and the surface of preassembled microtubules, whereas irreversible binding results when tau is coassembled with tubulin into a tau-microtubule copolymer. Because the latter is expected to be physiologically relevant, its characterization is of central importance.
Differential regulation of microtubule dynamics by three- and four-repeat tau: implications for the onset of neurodegenerative disease. - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
The microtubule (MT)-associated protein tau is important in neuronal development and in Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases. Genetic analyses have established a cause-and-effect relationship between tau dysfunction/misregulation and neuronal cell death and dementia in frontotemporal dementia and parkinsonism associated with chromosome 17; several mutations causing this dementia lead to increased ratios of four-repeat (4R) to three-repeat (3R) wild-type tau, and an attractive hypothesis is that the abnormally high ratio of 4R to 3R tau might lead to neuronal cell death by altering normal tau functions in adult neurons. Thus, we tested whether 3R and 4R tau might differentially modulate the dynamic instability of MTs in vitro using video microscopy. Although both isoforms promoted MT polymerization and decreased the tubulin critical subunit concentration to approximately similar extents, 4R tau stabilized MTs significantly more strongly that 3R tau. For example, 4R tau suppressed the shortening rate, whereas 3R tau had little or no detectable effect. Similarly, 3R tau had no effect on the length shortened during a shortening event, whereas 4R tau strongly reduced this parameter. Further, when MTs were diluted into buffer containing 4R tau, the MTs were stabilized and shortened slowly. In contrast, when diluted into 3R tau, the MTs were unstable and shortened rapidly. Thus, 4R tau stabilizes MTs differently and significantly more strongly than 3R tau. We suggest a "dosage effect" or haploinsufficiency model in which both tau alleles must be active and properly regulated to produce appropriate amounts of each tau isoform to maintain MT dynamics within a tolerable window of activity.
Exposure to the metabolic inhibitor sodium azide induces stress protein expression and thermotolerance in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. - Cell stress & chaperones
Historically, sodium azide has been used to anesthetize the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans; however, the mechanism by which it survives this exposure is not understood. In this study, we report that exposure of wild-type C elegans to 10 mM sodium azide for up to 90 minutes confers thermotolerance (defined as significantly increased survival probability [SP] at 37 degrees C) on the animal. In addition, sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed enhanced Hsp70 expression, whereas Western blot analysis revealed the induction of Hsp16. We also tested the only known C elegans Hsp mutant def-21 (codes for Hsp90), which constitutively enters the stress-resistant state known as the dauer larvae. Daf-21 mutants also acquire sodium azide-induced thermotolerance, whereas 3 non-Hsp, constitutive dauer-forming mutants exhibited a variable response to azide exposure. We conclude that the ability of C elegans to survive exposure to azide is associated with the induction of at least 2 stress proteins.
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2311 Aberdeen Blvd Ste A Gastonia, NC 28054
2555 Court Dr Suite 450
2555 Court Dr Suite 300