The paired helical filament (PHF), which comprises the major fibrous element of the neurofibrillary tangle of Alzheimer's disease, is composed of abnormally phosphorylated microtubule-associated protein tau. Here we show that p42 MAP kinase phosphorylates recombinant tau and converts it to a form which is similar to PHF tau. Of the major serine/threonine protein phosphatases found in mammalian tissues only protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) could dephosphorylate tau phosphorylated in this manner, with PP2A1 being the most effective form of the enzyme.
- Alzheimer's disease
- Microtubule-associated protein tau
- Mitogen-activated protein kinase
- Protein phosphatase 2A