A Protein For Alzheimer 's Disease

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The biomolecule Tau is a protein that plays a vital role in the research of Alzheimer’s disease. Tau is a highly soluble protein, and it can be reorganized by hydrophobic motifs forming structures[7]. Since it is hydrophilic, it does not adopt the folded structure like most other proteins. So typically, they are found as an unfolded protein. Its polypeptide chain is flexible due to the amount of Proline present, and it moves around a great deal[7]. Since Tau extends a volume of about 27x compared to a normal compacted molecule, it is a loose disordered protein[7]. The full length of a Tau protein contains about 80 Serine or Threonine residues, 56 Aspartic Acid and Glutamic Acid residues, 58 Lysine+Arginine residues and 8 aromatic residues with 5 Tyrosines and 3 Phenylalanines [7]. The amino-terminal is mainly acidic and the carboxy-terminal is typically neutral. Aggregation of Tau proteins in cells can be toxic, but it is reversible with the use of inhibitors. It is a microtubule-associated protein (MAP) that favors being found in the axons of the Central Nervous System (CNS) and entails six isoforms caused by alternative splicing[7]. The isoforms increase stability with the microtubules and in comparison, with humans, mice only have 3 isoforms[7]. MAPs are proteins that intermingle with the microtubules of the cellular cytoskeleton. Tau proteins stabilize axonal microtubules, play a role in signal transduction, interact with the actin cytoskeleton and plasma membrane, and anchor enzymes like protein kinases and phosphatases[7]. They also deal with the regulation of intracellular vesicle transport. Newswise wrote an article on October 28th 2016 about Dr. Marc Diamond, the founder of the Center for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerat... ... middle of paper ... ...associated with Alzheimer’s[5]. The amount of Tau in the brain is being discovered as a correlation with -amyloid to decrease cognition and more severe cases of Alzheimer’s. As fluorescent colors show on the PET scans as reds, yellows, or greens, it indicates a large amount of Tau located in those specific areas of the brain[5]. If we know the amount of -amyloid and tau in the brain, it can give an idea to the progression of the patient and approximate the stage of the disease. There is still more research that can be done and that is being done. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s yet, but with these advancements so far, we can track the progression. Research has already come so far to discover the connection between -amyloid and tau in the brain. With high hopes, lots of research, and new technology, someday, they will be able to stop Tau from tangling in the brain.
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