FTDP-17 tau mutations decrease the susceptibility of tau to calpain I digestion

Samuel Yen, Colin Easson, Parimala Nacharaju, Michael Hutton, Shu Hui Yen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Frontal temporal dementia and Parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17 (FTDP-17) is caused by splice site and missense mutations in the tau gene, and characterized by the accumulation of filamentous tau in cerebral neurons and glia. The missense mutations reduce the ability of tau to promote microtubule assembly and increase the ability of tau to form filaments. In this report we demonstrate that mutants V337M and R406W are less susceptible than mutant P301L or corresponding wild type tau to degradation by calpain I. The differences were at least in part due to changes in accessibility of a cleavage site located about 100 amino acids off the carboxy-terminus. The results suggest that the pathogenesis of some forms of FTDP-17 may involve tau accumulation due to decreased proteolytic degradation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-95
Number of pages5
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Nov 12 1999


  • Calpain I
  • Chromosome 17
  • Frontal temporal dementia
  • Parkinsonism
  • Tau gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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