The MAPT gene encodes the microtubule-associated protein Tau whose transcript undergoes complex, regulated alternative splicing, giving rise to several mRNA species. MAPT transcripts are differentially expressed in the nervous system, depending on stage of neuronal maturation and neuron type. MAPT gene mutations have been associated with several neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Pick's disease, frontotemporal dementia, cortico-basal degeneration and progressive supranuclear palsy. Tau promotes microtubule assembly and stability, and might be involved in the establishment and maintenance of neuronal polarity. The C-terminus binds axonal microtubules while the N-terminus binds neural plasma membrane components, suggesting that Tau functions as a linker protein between both. Axonal polarity is predetermined by Tau localization (in the neuronal cell) in the domain of the cell body defined by the centrosome. The short isoforms allow plasticity of the cytoskeleton whereas the longer isoforms may preferentially play a role in its stabilization. In Alzheimer disease, the neuronal cytoskeleton in the brain is progressively disrupted and replaced by tangles of paired helical filaments (PHF) and straight filaments, mainly composed of hyperphosphorylated forms of Tau.
Microtubule-associated protein tau
Neurofibrillary tangle protein
Paired helical filament-tau
This monoclonal antibody was produced by repeated immunizations with a synthetic peptide corresponding to the N-terminus of human Tau protein. The hybridoma was produced by fusing New Zealand White rabbit splenocytes and myeloma cells using conventional technology.