Tau is truncated in five regions of the normal adult human brain

Publication Name

International Journal of Molecular Sciences


The truncation of Tau is thought to be important in promoting aggregation, with this feature characterising the pathology of dementias such as Alzheimer disease. Antibodies to the C-terminal and N-terminal regions of Tau were employed to examine Tau cleavage in five human brain regions: the entorhinal cortex, prefrontal cortex, motor cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum. These were obtained from normal subjects ranging in age from 18 to 104 years. Tau fragments of approximately 40 kDa and 45 kDa with an intact N-terminus retained were found in soluble and insoluble brain fractions. In addition, smaller C-terminal Tau fragments ranging in mass from 17 kDa to 25 kDa were also detected. These findings are consistent with significant Tau cleavage taking place in brain regions from 18 years onwards. It appears that site-specific cleavage of Tau is widespread in the normal human brain, and that large Tau fragments that contain the N-terminus, as well as shorter C-terminal Tau fragments, are present in brain cells across the age range.

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National Health and Medical Research Council



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