Synergistic interactions between repeats in tau protein and Aβ amyloids may be responsible for accelerated aggregation via polymorphic states.

Center for Cancer Research Nanobiology Program NCI-Frederick, Frederick, MD 21702, USA.
Biochemistry (Impact Factor: 3.38). 06/2011; 50(23):5172-81. DOI: 10.1021/bi200400u
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles simultaneously accumulate in Alzheimer's disease (AD). It is known that Aβ and tau exist together in the mitochondria; however, the interactions between Aβ oligomers and tau are controversial. Moreover, it is still unclear which specific domains in the tau protein can interact with Aβ oligomers and what could be the effect of these interactions. Herein, we examine three different Aβ-tau oligomeric complexes. These complexes present interactions of Aβ with three domains in the tau protein; all contain high β-structure propensity in their R2, R3, and R4 repeats. Our results show that, among these, Aβ oligomers are likely to interact with the R2 domain to form a stable complex with better alignment in the turn region and the β-structure domain. We therefore propose that the R2 domain can interact with soluble Aβ oligomers and consequently promote aggregation. EM and AFM images and dimensions revealed highly polymorphic tau aggregates. We suggest that the polymorphic tau and Aβ-tau aggregates may be largely due to repeat sequences which are prone to variable turn locations along the tau repeats.

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