Send to

Choose Destination
J Biol Chem. 2001 Oct 12;276(41):38193-200. Epub 2001 Jul 25.

Reduced protein phosphatase 2A activity induces hyperphosphorylation and altered compartmentalization of tau in transgenic mice.

Author information

Division of Psychiatry Research, University of Zürich, 8008 Zürich, Switzerland.


Hyperphosphorylated isoforms of the microtubule-associated protein tau are the major components of neurofibrillary lesions in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Protein phosphatase (PP) 2A is a major phosphatase implicated in tau dephosphorylation in vitro. Dephosphorylation of tau can be blocked in vivo by okadaic acid, a potent inhibitor of PP2A. Moreover, activity of PP2A is reduced in AD brains. To elucidate the role of PP2A in tau phosphorylation and pathogenesis, we expressed a dominant negative mutant form of the catalytic subunit Calpha of PP2A, L199P, in mice by using a neuron-specific promoter. We obtained mice with high expression levels of Calpha L199P in cortical, hippocampal, and cerebellar neurons. PP2A activity in brain homogenates of transgenic mice was reduced to 66%. Endogenous tau protein was hyperphosphorylated at distinct sites including the AT8 epitope Ser-202/Thr-205, a major AD-associated tau phosphoepitope. AT8-positive tau aggregates accumulated in the soma and dendrites of cortical pyramidal cells and cerebellar Purkinje cells and co-localized with ubiquitin. Our data establish that PP2A plays a crucial role in tau phosphorylation. Our results also show that reduced PP2A activity is associated with altered compartmentalization and ubiquitination of tau, resembling a key pathological finding in AD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center