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Neurosci Lett. 2007 Dec 18;429(2-3):91-4. Epub 2007 Oct 11.

Taurine, an inducer for tau polymerization and a weak inhibitor for amyloid-beta-peptide aggregation.

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Centro de Biología Molecular "Severo Ochoa" (CSIC-UAM), Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain.


Taurine is an abundant aminoacid present in brain. Its concentration is decreased in the brain of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. The chemical structure of taurine is similar to 3-amino-1-propanesulfonic acid, a known compound which interferes with beta-amyloid peptide aggregation. Here, we have tested if taurine show similar properties. Taurine slightly decreases beta-amyloid peptide aggregation at a milimolar concentration. At that concentration, taurine favours the assembly of tau protein into fibrillars polymers. Thus, it is proposed that the negative charge present in taurine may be involved in the binding to tau protein, facilitating its assembly. In addition, the possible role of taurine in Alzheimer disease is commented.

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