The microtubule-associated protein tau and amyloid-β (Aβ) are key players in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Aβ and tau are linked in a molecular pathway at the post-synapse with tau-dependent synaptic dysfunction being a major pathomechanism in AD. Recent work on site-specific modification of dendritic and more specifically post-synaptic tau has revealed new endogenous functions of tau that limits synaptic Aβ toxicity. Thus, molecular studies opened a new perspective on tau, placing it at the center of neurotoxic and neuroprotective signaling at the post-synapse. Here, we review recent advances on tau in the dendritic compartments, with implications for understanding and treatment of AD and related neurological conditions.
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