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TitleClearance of intracellular tau protein from neuronal cells via VAMP8-induced secretion.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsPilliod, Julie, Alexandre Desjardins, Camille Pernègre, Hélène Jamann, Catherine Larochelle, Edward A. Fon, and Nicole Leclerc
JournalJ Biol Chem
Date Published2020 Oct 22

In Alzheimer's disease (AD), tau - a microtubule-associated protein - becomes hyperphosphorylated, aggregates and accumulates in the somato-dendritic compartment of neurons. In parallel to its intracellular accumulation in AD, tau is also released in the extracellular space, as revealed by its increased presence in cerebrospinal fluid. Consistent with this, recent studies, including ours, have reported that neurons secrete tau, and several therapeutic strategies aim to prevent the intracellular tau accumulation. Previously, we reported that late endosomes were implicated in tau secretion. Here, we explore the possibility of preventing intracellular tau accumulation by increasing tau secretion. Using neuronal models, we investigated whether the overexpression of the vesicle-associated membrane protein 8 (VAMP8), an R-SNARE found on late endosomes, could increase tau secretion. The overexpression of VAMP8 significantly increased tau secretion, decreasing its intracellular levels in the neuroblastoma (N2a) cell line. Increased tau secretion by VAMP8 was also observed in murine hippocampal slices. The intracellular reduction of tau by VAMP8 overexpression correlated to a decrease of acetylated tubulin induced by tau overexpression in N2a cells. VAMP8 staining was preferentially found on late endosomes in N2a cells. Using TIRF microscopy, the fusion of VAMP8-positive vesicles with the plasma membrane was correlated to the depletion of tau in the cytoplasm. Finally, overexpression of VAMP8 reduced the intracellular accumulation of tau mutants linked to frontotemporal dementia with parkinsonism (FTDP) and alpha-synuclein by increasing their secretion. Collectively, the present data indicate that VAMP8 could be used to increase tau and alpha-synuclein clearance to prevent their intracellular accumulation.

Alternate JournalJ Biol Chem
PubMed ID33093174