TauP301L disengages from the proteosome core complex and neurogranin coincident with enhanced neuronal network excitability

Katy Hole, Bangfu Zhu, Laura Huggon, Jon T Brown, Jody Mason, Robert J Williams

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Tauopathies are characterised by the pathological accumulation of misfolded tau. The emerging view is that toxic tau species drive synaptic dysfunction and potentially tau propagation before measurable neurodegeneration is evident, but the underlying molecular events are not well defined. Human non-mutated 0N4R tau (tauWT) and P301L mutant 0N4R tau (tauP301L) were expressed in mouse primary cortical neurons using adeno-associated viruses to monitor early molecular changes and synaptic function before the onset of neuronal loss. In this model tauP301L was differentially phosphorylated relative to tauwt with a notable increase in phosphorylation at ser262. Affinity purification - mass spectrometry combined with tandem mass tagging was used to quantitatively compare the tauWT and tauP301L interactomes. This revealed an enrichment of tauP301L with ribosomal proteins but a decreased interaction with the proteasome core complex and reduced tauP301L degradation. Differences in the interaction of tauP301L with members of a key synaptic calcium-calmodulin signalling pathway were also identified, most notably, increased association with CaMKII but reduced association with calcineurin and the candidate AD biomarker neurogranin. Decreased association of neurogranin to tauP301L corresponded with the appearance of enhanced levels of extracellular neurogranin suggestive of potential release or leakage from synapses. Finally, analysis of neuronal network activity using micro-electrode arrays showed that overexpression of tauP301L promoted basal hyperexcitability coincident with these changes in the tau interactome and implicating tau in specific early alterations in synaptic function.
Original languageEnglish
Article number429
Number of pages15
JournalCell Death and Disease
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2024

Data Availability Statement

The mass spectrometry proteomics data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange Consortium via the PRIDE partner repository with the dataset identifier PXD044959. Supporting proteomics data and original immunoblots are also available in the Supplementary files.


  • Tau
  • Alzheimer Disease
  • Neurogranin
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Proteomics
  • Neural network
  • Microelectrode arrays

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