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.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications|
|Publication status||Published - 2010 Jan 1|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology