Drosophila notal bristle as a novel assessment tool for pathogenic study of Tau toxicity and screening of therapeutic compounds

Po An Yeh, Ju Yi Chien, Chih Chung Chou, Yu Fen Huang, Chiou Yang Tang, Hsiang Yu Wang, Ming-Tsan Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


To elucidate the Tau gain-of-toxicity functional mechanism and to search for potential treatments, we overexpressed human Tau variants (hTau) in the dorsal mesothorax (notum) of Drosophila. Overexpression of Tau variants caused loss of notal bristles, and the phenotype was used for evaluating toxicity of ectopic Tau. The bristle loss phenotype was found to be highly associated with the toxicity of hyperphosphoryled Tau in flies. We have shown that the bristle loss phenotype can be rescued either by reducing Glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β)/Shaggy (Sgg) activity or overexpressing Bβ2 regulatory subunits of PP2A. Elevated expression of the Drosophila Bβ2 homolog, Twins (Tws), also alleviated neuritic dystrophy of the dorsal arborization (da) neuron caused by Tau aggregation. Additionally, lowering endogenous Tau dosage was beneficial as it ameliorated the bristle loss phenotype. Finally, the bristle loss phenotype was used to evaluate the efficacy of potential therapeutic compounds. The GSK3β inhibitor, alsterpaullone, was found to suppress toxicity of Tau in a concentration-dependent manner. The notum of Drosophila, thus, provides a new tool and insights into Tau-induced toxicity. It could also potentially assist in screening new drugs for possible therapeutic intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-516
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jan 1



  • Alsterpaullone
  • Notum
  • PP2A
  • Tauopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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