Tau-tubulin kinase phosphorylates tau at Ser-208 and Ser-210, sites found in paired helical filament-tau

FEBS Lett. 2001 Mar 16;492(3):221-7. doi: 10.1016/s0014-5793(01)02256-6.


Hyperphosphorylated tau protein is known to be a major component of the paired helical filaments (PHFs) that accumulate in the brain of Alzheimer's patients. The kinase that phosphorylated Ser-208 and Ser-210 in PHF-tau had remained unknown. We used anti-pS208 and anti-pS210 antibodies and Western blots to confirm that the tau-tubulin kinase (TTK) phosphorylates tau at Ser-208 and at Ser-210. Using partial amino acid sequences of purified bovine brain TTK, a mouse cDNA of TTK was isolated and the sequence was determined. Its 963 bp coding region is composed of 320 amino acids and encodes a 36 kDa protein indistinguishable in size from authentic bovine brain TTK. Our immunoblot analysis demonstrated that TTK is ubiquitously distributed in the rat tissues, and that it is developmentally regulated in the rat brain.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antibodies / immunology
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Western
  • Brain / enzymology
  • DNA, Complementary / analysis
  • Glutathione Transferase / genetics
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptide Fragments / chemistry
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Sequence Analysis, Protein
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Serine / metabolism*
  • Tissue Distribution
  • tau Proteins / metabolism*


  • Antibodies
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • tau Proteins
  • Serine
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • tau-tubulin kinase
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3
  • tau-protein kinase