Tau is a microtubule-associated protein that is abundantly expressed in neurons. It plays a critical role in regulating microtubule functions, thereby affecting diverse biological processes in the brain. Tau aggregation and its progression are seminal events in tauopathies, a group of neurodegenerative diseases characterised by intracellular aggregates of hyperphosphorylated tau. Mutations and hyperphosphorylation of tau, particularly in and around the microtubule-binding domain, cause misfolding and aggregation under pathological conditions. Misfolded tau aggregates are known to spread intraneuronally and induce pathological changes in native tau in neighbouring cells, thus propagating tau pathology. Although the primary function of tau in the brain is not yet clear, our understanding of the pathological mechanisms through which it contributes to neurodegenerative diseases has become clearer over the years. However, despite these advances there is still considerable progress to be made in translating this knowledge into effective therapeutic strategies. The aim of this special issue is therefore to gather excellent and focused research studies on the diverse roles of tau in neurodegenerative diseases, and on potential new treatment approaches for the mitigation of tau dysfunction.
Dr. Viswanath Das
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