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Effect of pseudophosphorylation and cross-linking by lipid peroxidation and advanced glycation end product precursors on tau aggregation and filament formation

Kuhla, B.; Haase, C.; Flach, K.; Lüth, H.-J.; Arendt, T.; Münch, G.
Accumulation of hyperphosphorylated tau protein as paired helical filaments (PHFs) in pyramidal neurons is a major hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. Besides hyperphosphorylation, other modifications of the tau protein such as crosslinking are likely to contribute to the characteristic features of PHFs, including their insolubility and resistance against proteolytic degradation. In this study, we have investigated if the four reactive carbonyl compounds acrolein, malondialdehyde, glyoxal and methylglyoxal accelerate the formation of tau oligomers, thioflavin T positive aggregates and fibrils using wild-type and seven pseudophosphorylated mutant tau proteins. Acrolein and methylglyoxal were the most reactive compounds, followed by glyoxal and malondialdehyde in terms of formation of tau dimers and higher molecular weight oligomers. Furthermore, acrolein and methylglyoxal induced the formation of thioflavin T fluorescent aggregates in a triple pseudophosphorylation mimicking mutant to a slightly higher degree than wild type tau. Analysis of the tau aggregates by electron microscopy study showed that formation of fibrils using wild type tau and several tau mutants could be observed with acrolein and methylglyoxal but not with glyoxal and malondialdehyde. Our results suggest that reactive carbonyl compounds, particularly methylglyoxal and acrolein, could accelerate tangle formation in vivo, and that this process could be slightly accelerated, at least in the case of methylglyoxal and acrolein, by hyperphosphorylation. Interference with the formation or the reaction of these reactive carbonyl compounds could be a promising way of inhibiting tangle formation and neuronal dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease and other tauopathies.

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Permalink: https://www.hzdr.de/publications/Publ-8962
Publ.-Id: 8962