Altered conformation of recombinant frontotemporal dementia-17 mutant tau proteins

Gregory A. Jicha, Julia M. Rockwood, Benjamin Berenfeld, Mike Hutton, Peter Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Recently, a series of both non-coding (intronic) and coding (exonic) mutations in the tau gene have been linked to a family of autosomal dominant dementias referred to as frontotemporal dementia-17. While linkage analysis has demonstrated that these mutations segregate with disease in affected families, it is unclear how mutant tau proteins could lead to the degenerative cascade seen in frontotemporal dementia-17. The present study demonstrates that coding mutations of tau seen in frontotemporal dementia-17 exhibit altered physical and structural characteristics as determined by reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography and circular dichroism spectroscopy. These data suggest that the previously identified mutations in the tau gene seen in frontotemporal dementia-17 are not merely benign polymorphisms, but may have functional consequences for microtubule binding, microtubule polymerization, and the abnormal aggregation of tau seen in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-156
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 5 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank E. Nieves for assistance with CD and M. Goedert for providing the htau40 construct. This work was supported by NIMH grant 38623, NIH grant AG06803, and NIH training grant T32GM07288.


  • Conformation
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Tau

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (all)


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