Tau Metabolism

Elucidating regulatory nodes in tau metabolism and pathobiology

Our hypothesis is that proper tau metabolism requires the precise, coordinated action of molecular chaperones, co-chaperones, post-translational modifications (PTMs), and degradation machinery that each represent regulatory nodes.

Genetic mutations in tau and other pathway members can disrupt tau metabolism, leading to tau accumulation, secretion, and neurodegeneration. We will generate critically important information about tau homeostasis and a foundational basis from which to build and frame subsequent investigations into tau pathobiology and toxicity.

Potential Nodes of Tau Regulation

Potential Nodes of Regulation


Overview model of tau metabolism showing potential nodes of regulation. 

Briefly, tau interacts with a series of molecular chaperones and co-chaperones, undergoes extensive and dynamic post-translational modifications (PTMs), productive or non-productive protein clearance, aggregation, degradation, and/or secretion. 

Tau PTM Paper

Tau Post-translational Modifications: Dynamic Transformers of Tau Function, Degradation, and Aggregation
Frontiers in Neurology, 2021 See Paper
Alquezar C, Arya S, Kao AW

Future Resources

Tau Metabolism & Variant Database (TMVdb)

Insights to MAPT and other key tau-metabolism genes

TMVdb will integrate findings from our Cores and Projects to produce a web-based and interactive guide on tau and tau-related proteins that will serve as a curated resource for the field.

Tau Polygenic Risk Score (TPRS)

Stratifying genetic risk for tauopathy

TPRS will integrate findings from our Cores and Projects to produce functional annotation of risk gene variants and will generate a polygenic risk score focused around tau-based neurodegeneration.


This U54 A138178 grant is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)