, Volume 121, Issue 1, pp 5-20,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 16 May 2010

Tau, prions and Aβ: the triad of neurodegeneration

Abstract

This article highlights the features that connect prion diseases with other cerebral amyloidoses and how these relate to neurodegeneration, with focus on tau phosphorylation. It also discusses similarities between prion disease and Alzheimer’s disease: mechanisms of amyloid formation, neurotoxicity, pathways involved in triggering tau phosphorylation, links to cell cycle pathways and neuronal apoptosis. We review previous evidence of prion diseases triggering hyperphosphorylation of tau, and complement these findings with cases from our collection of genetic, sporadic and transmitted forms of prion diseases. This includes the novel finding that tau phosphorylation consistently occurs in sporadic CJD, in the absence of amyloid plaques.