Tau is a key protein in many neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer disease, Frontotemporal dementia, traumatic brain injury, like the one the football players have, to mention some. I have established my group at the College of Staten Island, where we are interested in understanding the process of tau-induced neurodegeneration in cells, and animal models. We have generated novel animal models. We are gaining experience on live cell imaging and molecular biology. The more I learn about Tau, the more I realize that it is a very important protein in the cognitive process and in cell biology in general. We are at the verge of learning about the biology of a very interesting protein that is involved with neurodegeneration, cancer re-expression, DNA protection and mRNA regulation. Tau has been shown to be present in the nucleus, to interact with microfilaments depending on the phosphorylation. Our research will shed light on tau-biology, and will be very useful in the development of new therapeutical approaches for tauopathies. I am eager to contribute to the knowledge of Tau biology and the mechanism of Tau-Induced Neurodegeneration and at the same time, I am glad to think that I will have the opportunity to train new researchers to work in this fascinating area of research and help towards solving Alzheimer’s epidemic.
PhD, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina
1. Beharry C, Cohen LS, Di J, Ibrahim K, Briffa-Mirabella S and Alonso AD, Tau-Induced Neurodegeneration: Mechanism and target, Neuroscience Bulletin, 30(2): 346–358, 2014.2. Farid M, Corbo CP, and Alonso AD*.“Tau binds ATP and induces its aggregation”, Microscopy Research and Technique 77(2) 133–137, 2014.3. Beharry C, Alaniz ME, and Alonso AD .Expression of Alzheimer-like pseudophosphorylated tau at Thr212, Thr231 and Ser262 induces a behavioral motor defect and olfactory learning deficit in Drosophila melanogaster, Journal of Alzheimer Disease, 37, 539-550, 2013.4. Alonso, AD.#, Di Clerico, J, Li, B., Corbo, Christopher P. , Alaniz, Maria E. , Grundke-Iqbal I. and Iqbal K. Phosphorylation of tau at Thr212, Thr231 and Ser262 combined and not individually causes neurodegeneration. J. of Biol. Chem. 2010;285(40):30851-60. 5. Alonso, AD, Bin Li, Inge Grundke-Iqbal and Khalid Iqbal. Mechanism of tau-induced neurodegeneration in Alzheimer disease and related tauopathies Current Alzheimer Research. 2008 (4):375-84. (Paper Cover of the Journal).6. Alonso, AD., Li, B., Grundke-Iqbal I. and Iqbal K. Hyperphosphorylated tau from Alzheimer disease brain is toxic only when not polymerized into filaments. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 2006;103(23):8864-9. 7. Alonso, A D., Iqbal, K Tau-induced neurodegeneration: A clue to its mechanism, J of Alzheimer’s disease, 2005;8(3):223-6.