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Neurobiol Aging. 1995 May-Jun;16(3):365-71; discussion 371-80.

Hyperphosphorylation of tau in PHF.

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Department of Neuropathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Japan.


Tau in PHF is known to be highly phosphorylated and immunochemical study has indicated the similarity of the phosphorylation between PHF-tau and fetal tau. We have determined the exact phosphorylation sites in both PHF-tau and fetal rat tau by ion-spray mass spectrometry and sequencing of ethanethiol-modified peptides. In PHF-tau, 19 sites have been identified; all the phosphorylation sites except for Ser-262 are localized to the amino- and carboxyl-terminal flanking regions of the microtubule-binding domain. Half of them are shared by fetal tau. Thus, PHF-tau is much more phosphorylated. Whereas most of the sites in fetal tau are proline-directed, half of them in PHF-tau are nonproline-directed. Overall, the hyperphosphorylation of PHF-tau can be considered to consist of fetal-type phosphorylation and additional proline-directed and nonproline-directed phosphorylation. This extraphosphorylation may provide PHF-tau with the unusual characteristics including assembly incompetence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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