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FEBS Lett. 1998 Oct 9;436(3):471-5.

Ser-262 in human recombinant tau protein is a markedly more favorable site for phosphorylation by CaMKII than PKA or PhK.

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New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, Staten Island 10314-6399, USA.


Several kinases have been shown to phosphorylate tau protein at Ser-262, an important site involved in the regulation of the binding of tau to microtubules. In this study we compared the phosphorylation of tau at Ser-262 by CaMKII, PhK and PKA in vitro as determined by radioimmunoblots developed by the monoclonal antibody 12E8 which recognizes P-Ser-262 and P-Ser-356; and Ab-262, a polyclonal antibody which is specific to unphosphorylated Ser-262 in tau. We found that the phosphorylation at Ser-262 was several times more effective by CaMKII than PKA or PhK. Employing rat brain extract as a source of all brain kinases and KN-62, a specific inhibitor of CaMKII, we found that CaMKII accounts for approximately 45% of phosphorylation at Ser-262. Furthermore, in rat brain slices kept metabolically active in oxygenated artificial CSF, phosphorylation of tau at Ser-262 was (i) increased up to 120% in the presence of bradykinin, a CaMKII activator, and (ii) inhibited by approximately 35% in the presence of KN-62. Thus, CaMKII is a major tau Ser-262 kinase in mammalian brain.

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