The role of tau kinases in Alzheimer's disease

Curr Opin Drug Discov Devel. 2010 Sep;13(5):595-603.


A principal feature of the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the appearance of aberrant phosphorylation of the microtubule-associated protein tau in the brains of affected individuals. Significant research efforts have been directed at identifying the kinases involved in this process, as well as developing pharmacological agents to inhibit these molecules. This review focuses on recent developments in both the physiological and pathological effects of tau phosphorylation, and the contribution of phosphorylation to tau toxicity and pathological progression in AD. The evolving concepts of the roles tau plays in cellular biology, and the mechanisms by which phosphorylation regulates tau function, is reshaping the framework for the development of therapeutics targeting tau to treat AD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy
  • Alzheimer Disease / enzymology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • tau Proteins / metabolism
  • tau Proteins / physiology*


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • tau Proteins
  • Protein Kinases