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Acetylated tau in Alzheimer's disease: An instigator of synaptic dysfunction underlying memory loss: Increased levels of acetylated tau blocks the postsynaptic signaling required for plasticity and promotes memory deficits associated with tauopathy.

TitleAcetylated tau in Alzheimer's disease: An instigator of synaptic dysfunction underlying memory loss: Increased levels of acetylated tau blocks the postsynaptic signaling required for plasticity and promotes memory deficits associated with tauopathy.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsTracy TE, Gan L
JournalBioessays
Volume39
Issue4
Date Published2017 04
ISSN1521-1878
KeywordsAcetylation, Alzheimer Disease, Animals, Brain, Disease Models, Animal, Humans, Memory Disorders, Protein Processing, Post-Translational, Synapses, tau Proteins, Tauopathies
Abstract

Pathogenesis in tauopathies involves the accumulation of tau in the brain and progressive synapse loss accompanied by cognitive decline. Pathological tau is found at synapses, and it promotes synaptic dysfunction and memory deficits. The specific role of toxic tau in disrupting the molecular networks that regulate synaptic strength has been elusive. A novel mechanistic link between tau toxicity and synaptic plasticity involves the acetylation of two lysines on tau, K274, and K281, which are associated with dementia in Alzheimer's disease (AD). We propose that an increase in tau acetylated on these lysines blocks the expression of long-term potentiation at hippocampal synapses leading to impaired memory in AD. Acetylated tau could inhibit the activity-dependent recruitment of postsynaptic AMPA-type glutamate receptors required for plasticity by interfering with the postsynaptic localization of KIBRA, a memory-associated protein. Strategies that reduce the acetylation of tau may lead to effective treatments for cognitive decline in AD.

DOI10.1002/bies.201600224
Alternate JournalBioessays
PubMed ID28083916
PubMed Central IDPMC5903676
Grant ListF32 AG043301 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG030207 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG036884 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States