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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2011 Feb;12(2):65-72. doi: 10.1038/nrn2967. Epub 2010 Dec 31.

Amyloid-β and tau--a toxic pas de deux in Alzheimer's disease.

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Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease Laboratory, Brain and Mind Research Institute, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, 100 Mallett Street, NSW 2050, Australia.


Amyloid-β and tau are the two hallmark proteins in Alzheimer's disease. Although both amyloid-β and tau have been extensively studied individually with regard to their separate modes of toxicity, more recently new light has been shed on their possible interactions and synergistic effects in Alzheimer's disease. Here, we review novel findings that have shifted our understanding of the role of tau in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease towards being a crucial partner of amyloid-β. As we gain a deeper understanding of the different cellular functions of tau, the focus shifts from the axon, where tau has a principal role as a microtubule-associated protein, to the dendrite, where it mediates amyloid-β toxicity.

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