It is well known that tau is a good in vitro substrate for Ca2+/ calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaM kinase II). However, it is not clear at present whether CaM kinase II phosphorylates tau in vivo or not. Serine 416, numbered according to the longest h uman tau isoform, has been reported to be one of the major phosphorylation sites by CaM kinase II in vitro. In this study, we produced a specific antibody against tau phosphorylated at serine 416 (PS416-tau). Immunoblot analysis revealed that the antibody reacted with tau in the rat brain extract which was prepared in the presence of protein phosphatase inhibitors. Developmental study indicated that serine 416 was strongly phosphorylated at early developmental stages in rat brain. We examined the localization of PS416-tau in primary cultured hippocampal neurons and the immortalized GnRH neurons (GT1-7 cells), which were stably transfected with CaM kinase IIα cDNA. Immunostaining of these cells indicated that tau was phosphorylated mainly in neuronal soma. Interestingly, tau in neuronal soma in Alzheimer's disease (AD) brain was strongly immunostained by the antibody. These results suggest that CaM kinase II is involved in the accumulation of tau in neuronal soma in AD brain.
- Alzheimer's disease
- Ca/ calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II
- GT1-7 cells
- Neurofibrillary tangles
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience