Microtubules, Tau Protein,and Paired Helical Filaments in Alzheimer’s Disease

  • E. Mandelkow
  • J. Biernat
  • B. Lichtenberg-Kraag
  • G. Drewes
  • H. Wille
  • N. Gustke
  • K. Baumann
  • E.-M. Mandelkow
Conference paper
Part of the Colloquium der Gesellschaft für Biologische Chemie 14.–16. April 1994 in Mosbach/Baden book series (MOSBACH, volume 45)


The pathology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) can be recognized by two types of protein deposits, the amyloid plaques and the neurofibrillary deposits (tangles, neuropil threads). The latter are composed largely of paired helical filaments which are in turn made up mainly of an insoluble form of the microtubule-associated protein tau (Brion et al. 1985). The neurofibrillary deposits are particularly useful in defining the stages of AD progression because they proceed with a well-defined spatial and temporal pattern, starting with the transentorhinal region (stage 1) until eventually the frontal and temporal cortex are affected (stage 6; Braak and Braak 1991; Braak et al. 1994). Only the last three stages are clinically recognizable as AD, while the first three are not noticeable as such. This illustrates the problem in developing a cure or preventing the beginnings of the disease (for review see Braak and Braak 1994).


Okadaic Acid Brain Extract Paired Helical Filament Microtubule Binding Abnormal Phosphorylation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Mandelkow
  • J. Biernat
  • B. Lichtenberg-Kraag
  • G. Drewes
  • H. Wille
  • N. Gustke
  • K. Baumann
  • E.-M. Mandelkow
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Unit for Structural Molecular Biology, c/o DESYGermany

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