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Front Neurol. 2018 Oct 2;9:809. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2018.00809. eCollection 2018.

Tau Pathology in Parkinson's Disease.

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Department of Immunology, Research Center on Pediatric Development and Diseases, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and School of Basic Medicine, Peking Union Medical College, State Key Laboratory of Medical Molecular Biology, Beijing, China.


Tau protein-a member of the microtubule-associated protein family-is a key protein involved in many neurodegenerative diseases. Tau pathology in neurodegenerative diseases is characterized by pathological tau aggregation in neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). Diseases with this typical pathological feature are called tauopathies. Parkinson's disease (PD) was not initially considered to be a typical tauopathy. However, recent studies have demonstrated increasing evidence of tau pathology in PD. A genome-wide association (GWA) study indicated a potential association between tauopathy and sporadic PD. The aggregation and deposition of tau were also observed in ~50% of PD brains, and it seems to be transported from neuron to neuron. The aggregation of NFTs, the abnormal hyperphosphorylation of tau protein, and the interaction between tau and alpha-synuclein may all contribute to the cell death and poor axonal transport observed in PD and Parkinsonism.


Parkinson's disease (PD); alpha-synuclien; hyperphosphorylation; tau protein; tauopathy

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