Tau is a microtubule binding protein expressed in neurons and its main known function is related to the maintenance of cytoskeletal stability. However, recent evidence indicated that Tau is present also in other subcellular compartments including the nucleus where it is implicated in DNA protection, in rRNA transcription, in the mobility of retrotransposons and in the structural organization of the nucleolus. We have recently demonstrated that nuclear Tau is involved in the expression of the VGluT1 gene, suggesting a molecular mechanism that could explain the pathological increase of glutamate release in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. Until recently, the involvement of nuclear Tau in modulating the expression of target genes has been relatively uncertain and ambiguous due to technical limitations that prevented the exclusion of the contribution of cytoplasmic Tau or the effect of other downstream factors not related to nuclear Tau. To overcome this uncertainty, we developed a method to study the expression of target genes specifically modulated by the nuclear Tau protein. We employed a protocol that couples the use of localization signals and the subcellular fractionation, allowing the exclusion of the interference from the cytoplasmic Tau molecules. Most notably, the protocol is easy and is composed of classic and reliable methods that are broadly applicable to study the nuclear function of Tau in other cell types and cellular conditions.

Modulation of Tau Subcellular Localization as a Tool to Investigate the Expression of Disease-related Genes

Siano G.;Caiazza M. C.;Varisco M.;Calvello M.;Quercioli V.;Cattaneo A.;Di Primio C.
2019

Abstract

Tau is a microtubule binding protein expressed in neurons and its main known function is related to the maintenance of cytoskeletal stability. However, recent evidence indicated that Tau is present also in other subcellular compartments including the nucleus where it is implicated in DNA protection, in rRNA transcription, in the mobility of retrotransposons and in the structural organization of the nucleolus. We have recently demonstrated that nuclear Tau is involved in the expression of the VGluT1 gene, suggesting a molecular mechanism that could explain the pathological increase of glutamate release in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. Until recently, the involvement of nuclear Tau in modulating the expression of target genes has been relatively uncertain and ambiguous due to technical limitations that prevented the exclusion of the contribution of cytoplasmic Tau or the effect of other downstream factors not related to nuclear Tau. To overcome this uncertainty, we developed a method to study the expression of target genes specifically modulated by the nuclear Tau protein. We employed a protocol that couples the use of localization signals and the subcellular fractionation, allowing the exclusion of the interference from the cytoplasmic Tau molecules. Most notably, the protocol is easy and is composed of classic and reliable methods that are broadly applicable to study the nuclear function of Tau in other cell types and cellular conditions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11384/81888
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