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Front. Neurol. | doi: 10.3389/fneur.2018.00809

Tau Pathology in Parkinson’s Disease

 Xue Zhang1,  Fei Gao1, Dongdong Wang1, Chao Li1, Yi Fu1, Wei He1* and  Jianmin Zhang1*
  • 1Immunology, Research Center on Pediatric Development and Diseases, Institute of Basic Research in Clinical Medicine, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, China

Abstract
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 approximately 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.

Keywords: Tauopathy, Parkinson's disease (PD), hyperphosphorylation, alpha-synuclien, tau protein

Received: 27 Nov 2017; Accepted: 07 Sep 2018.

Edited by:

Graziella Madeo, National Institutes of Health (NIH), United States

Reviewed by:

Francisco J. Pan-Montojo, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany
Giuseppe Sciamanna, Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata, Italy  

Copyright: © 2018 Zhang, Gao, Wang, Li, Fu, He and Zhang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Dr. Wei He, Institute of Basic Research in Clinical Medicine, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Immunology, Research Center on Pediatric Development and Diseases, 5 Dong Dan San Tiao, New Research Building, Room 704, Beijing, 100005, China, heweiimu@public.bta.net.cn
Dr. Jianmin Zhang, Institute of Basic Research in Clinical Medicine, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Immunology, Research Center on Pediatric Development and Diseases, 5 Dong Dan San Tiao, New Research Building, Room 704, Beijing, 100005, China, jzhang42@163.com