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FEBS J. 2005 Aug;272(16):4211-20.

Levels of mTOR and its downstream targets 4E-BP1, eEF2, and eEF2 kinase in relationships with tau in Alzheimer's disease brain.

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  • 1Division of Experimental Geriatrics, Department of Neurotec, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden.


The pathogenesis of formation of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in Alzheimer's disease (AD) brains is unknown. One of the possibilities might be that translation of tau mRNA is aberrantly regulated in AD brains. In the current study, levels of various translation control elements including total and phosphorylated (p) forms of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), eukaryotic initiation factor 4E binding protein 1 (4E-BP1), eukaryotic elongation factor 2 (eEF2), and eEF2 kinase were investigated in relationship with tau in homogenates of the medial temporal cortex from 20 AD and 10 control brains. We found that levels of p-mTOR (Ser2481), and p-4E-BP1 (Thr70 and Ser65) dramatically increase in AD, and are positively significantly correlated with total tau and p-tau. Levels of p-eEF2K were significantly increased, and total eEF2 significantly decreased in AD, when compared to controls. The changes of p-mTOR (2481), p-4E-BP1, and p-eEF2 were immunohistochemically confirmed to be in neurons of AD brains. This suggested that there are obvious abnormalities of elements related with translation control in AD brain and their aberrant changes may up-regulate the translation of tau mRNA, contributing to hyperphosphorylated tau accumulation in NFT-bearing neurons.

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