Background & Objective: Neurodegenrative diseases are among the most widespread lifethreatening disorders around the world in elderly ages. The common feature of a group of neurodegenerative disorders, called tauopathies, is an accumulation of microtubule associated protein tau inside the neurons. The exact mechanism underlying tauopathies is not well-understood but several factors such as traumatic brain injuries and genetics are considered as potential risk factors. Although tau protein is well-known for its key role in stabilizing and organization of axonal microtubule network, it bears a broad range of functions including DNA protection and participation in signaling pathways. Moreover, the flexible unfolded structure of tau facilitates modification of tau by a wide range of intracellular enzymes which in turn broadens tau function and interaction spectrum. The distinctive properties of tau protein concomitant with the crucial role of tau interaction partners in the progression of neurodegeneration suggest tau and its binding partners as potential drug targets for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
Conclusion: This review aims to give a detailed description of structure, functions and interactions of tau protein in order to provide insight into potential therapeutic targets for treatment of tauopathies.
Keywords: Tauopathy, tauopathy treatment, tau interaction partners, structure, function, neurodegeneration disease.