The "Jaws" of the Tau-Microtubule Interaction

Marco D. Mukrasch, Martin von Bergen, Jacek Biernat, Daniela Fischer, Christian Griesinger, Eckhard Mandelkow, Markus Zweckstetter
2007 Journal of Biological Chemistry  
Tau is the major microtubule-associated protein in neuronal axons. It aggregates into "neurofibrillary tangles" during the course of Alzheimer disease. Binding to microtubules and microtubule assembly requires the "repeat domain" in the C-terminal half of Tau, as well as the two regions flanking the repeats. Here we report the NMR characterization of a 198-residue Tau fragment composed of the four tandem repeats and the flanking domains and containing the full microtubule binding and assembly
more » ... ding and assembly activity of Tau. NMR secondary chemical shifts and dipolar couplings detect the highest propensity for ␤-structure within the four-repeat region, whereas the flanking domains are largely random coil, with an increased rigidity in the proline-rich region. Chemical shift perturbation experiments identify two motifs in the upstream flanking domain, 225 KVAVVRT 231 and 243 LQTA 246 , and one downstream of the repeats, 370 KIETHKTFREN 380 , which strongly contribute to the binding to the acidic outside of microtubules, as well as to the binding of other polyanions such as heparin. This is consistent with the "jaws" model of Tau-microtubule interactions and highlights the importance of the regions flanking the repeats for both microtubule binding and pathological Tau aggregation.
doi:10.1074/jbc.m607159200 pmid:17307736 fatcat:sbwu7ol6zzcebe3yy2hodgjtca