Tauopathy is a category of neurodegenerative diseases that are caused or associated with pathological tau protein. Some of the diseases are relatively common, which include Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and various Parkinsonism (PD). Tau protein is a type of microtubule-associated protein (MAP), encoded by the gene MAPT (microtubule-associated protein tau). Normally, tau binds to microtubule, supporting the assembling and structure of cytoskeletons. However, in tauopathy, normal tau protein undergoes abnormal posttranslational modifications and detaches from microtubule; furthermore, they may aggregate forming paired helical filaments (PHF) or straight filaments (SF). Abundant PHF could be observed under microscope as fibrillary tangles. In this chapter, we will introduce the pathogenesis process of tauopathy with regard to the posttranslational modifications of the protein, the animal models, and the developing treatments against tauopathy from a clinical prospective.
Part of the book: Cognitive Disorders