Site-Specific Hyperphosphorylation Inhibits, Rather than Promotes, Tau Fibrillization, Seeding Capacity, and Its Microtubule Binding

The consistent observation of phosphorylated tau in the pathology of Alzheimer's disease has contributed to the emergence of a model where hyperphosphorylation triggers both tau disassociation from microtubules and its subsequent aggregation. Herein, we applied a total chemical synthetic approach to site-specifically phosphorylate the microtubule binding repeat domain of tau (K18) at single (pS356) or multiple (pS356/pS262 and pS356/pS262/pS258) residues. We show that hyperphosphorylation of K18 inhibits 1) its aggregation in vitro, 2) its seeding activity in cells, 3) its binding to microtubules, and 4) its ability to promote microtubule polymerization. The inhibition increased with increasing the number of phosphorylated sites, with phosphorylation at S262 having the strongest effect. Our results argue against the hyperphosphorylation hypothesis and underscore the importance of revisiting the role of site-specific hyperphosphorylation in regulating tau functions in health and disease.


Published in:
Angewandte Chemie-International Edition
Year:
Jan 28 2020
Publisher:
Weinheim, WILEY-V C H VERLAG GMBH
ISSN:
1433-7851
1521-3773
Keywords:
Laboratories:




 Record created 2020-03-03, last modified 2020-04-25


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