Imbalanced protein load within cells is a critical aspect for most diseases of aging. In particular, the accumulation
of proteins into neurotoxic aggregates is a common thread for a host of neurodegenerative diseases. Recent work
demonstrates that age-related changes to the cellular chaperone repertoire contribute to abnormal buildup of the microtubule-
associated protein tau that accumulates in a group of diseases termed tauopathies, the most common being Alzheimer’s
disease (AD). The Hsp90 co-chaperone repertoire has diverse effects on tau stability; some co-chaperones stabilize
tau while others facilitate its clearance. We propose that each of these proteins may be novel therapeutic targets.
While targeting Hsp90 directly may be deleterious at the organismal level, perhaps targeting individual co-chaperone activities
will be more tolerable.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, microtubule associated protein tau, chaperone, Heat shock protein, Hsp90, co-chaperone.
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