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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007 Jun 29;358(2):644-9. Epub 2007 May 7.

Epitope mapping of mAbs AT8 and Tau5 directed against hyperphosphorylated regions of the human tau protein.

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Institute of Bioanalytical Chemistry, Center for Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Faculty of Chemistry and Mineralogy, Leipzig University, Deutscher Platz 5, Leipzig, Germany.


Post-mortem diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease relies on high numbers of senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) stained in distinct brain areas. NFTs mostly consist of hyperphosphorylated versions of the microtubule attached tau protein (PHF-tau) with more than 30 serine and threonine phosphorylation sites identified so far. Characterization of hyperphosphorylated tau regions and the hope to develop robust assays for early AD diagnosis relies mostly on phosphorylation-dependent monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) recognizing only disease-specific phosphorylation patterns. Here, we report that anti-PHF-tau mAb AT8 recognizes an epitope doubly phosphorylated at serine 202 and threonine 205, which was not influenced by a third phosphate group at serine 199. But mAb AT8 was cross-reactive to two doubly phosphorylated motifs containing either serines 199 and 202 or serines 205 and 208 of the human tau sequence. The epitope of anti-tau mAb Tau5 was mapped to the human tau sequence 218-225, which is not phosphorylated in vivo.

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