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Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 2003 Aug 19;116(1-2):94-105.

Modulation of the membrane-binding domain of tau protein: splicing regulation of exon 2.

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  • 1Division of Neurobiology of Developmental Disorders, Shriver Center for Mental Retardation at UMMS, Waltham, MA 02452, USA.


Tau is a microtubule-associated protein whose transcript undergoes complex regulated splicing in the mammalian nervous system. The N-terminal domain of the protein interacts with the axonal membrane, and is modulated by regulated inclusion of exons 2 and 3. These two tau exons are alternatively spliced cassettes, in which exon 3 never appears independently of exon 2. Previous work with tau minigene constructs indicated that exon 2 resembles a constitutive exon. In this study, we show that exon 2 is regulated by a combination of exonic and intronic enhancers and silencers. Furthermore, we demonstrate that known splicing regulators affect the ratio of exon 2 isoforms. Lastly, we tentatively pinpoint the site of action of several splicing factors which regulate tau exon 2.

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