Alzheimer neurofibrillary lesions: Molecular nature and potential roles of different components

Shu hui Yen, Wan Kyng Liu, Frederick L. Hall, Shi Du Yan, David Stern, Dennis W. Dickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Neurofibrillary lesions found in Alzheimer disease (AD) are known to react with antibodies raised against different molecules. At least 20 components have been detected in neurofibrillary tangles. These components can be roughly categorized into five groups, which include structural proteins, kinases and other cytosolic enzymes, stress-related molecules, amyloid and amyloid binding proteins, and others. Among them, an abnormal form of microtubule associated protein tau, PHF-tau, is a major component of Alzheimer NFT. Kinases associated with NFT, especially those belonging to the family of proline-directed Ser/Thr kinases, are considered to be important for PHF-tau hyperphosphorylation. A potentially significant kinase is a Cdc2-related kinase, which is associated tightly with paired helical filaments, has a molecular weight of 33kDa and is different from other known Cdc2-related kinases. The possibility that some of the NFT-associated elements may play an active role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease was supported by recent studies, in which advanced glycated products and markers of oxidant stress were located in NFT. In addition, PHF-tau was found to be glycated, and in vitro glycated tau was capable of inducing oxidant stress. Further characterization of different components of NFT by biochemical and other approaches will be important for understanding the mechanisms involved in the supramolecular aggregation of PHF within NFT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-387
Number of pages7
JournalNeurobiology of aging
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1995


  • Neurofibrillary lesions
  • PHF-tau

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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