The nitration of tau protein in neurone-like PC12 cells

FEBS Lett. 2004 Mar 26;562(1-3):35-9. doi: 10.1016/S0014-5793(04)00173-5.


Tyrosine nitration of proteins is emerging as a post-translational modification playing a role in physiological conditions. Looking for the molecular events triggered by nitric oxide in nerve growth factor-induced neuronal differentiation, we now find that nitration occurs on the microtubule-associated protein tau. In differentiated PC12 cells, we have identified as tau a nitrated protein that co-immunoprecipitates with alpha-tubulin and indicated that the modified protein is associated with the cytoskeleton but it is confined to a restricted cell region. This paper supplies the first evidence that nitration of tau occurs in a physiological process and suggests that it could play a role in neuronal differentiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism*
  • PC12 Cells
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization
  • Tyrosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Tyrosine / metabolism
  • tau Proteins / chemistry
  • tau Proteins / metabolism*


  • Peptides
  • tau Proteins
  • Nitric Oxide
  • 3-nitrotyrosine
  • Tyrosine