Tau Interaction with Tubulin and Microtubules: From Purified Proteins to Cells


  • de Bessa Tiphany
  • Breuzard Gilles
  • Allegro Diane
  • Devred François
  • Peyrot Vincent
  • Barbier Pascale


  • FRET
  • Cosedimentation essay
  • Affinity constant
  • Microtubules
  • Tau protein
  • Turbidimetry
  • Tubulin


Microtubules (MTs) play an important role in many cellular processes and are dynamic structures regulated by an important network of microtubules-associated proteins, MAPs, such as Tau. Tau has been discovered as an essential factor for MTs formation in vitro, and its region implicated in binding to MTs has been identified. By contrast, the affinity, the stoichiometry, and the topology of Tau-MTs interaction remain controversial. Indeed, depending on the experiment conditions a wide range of values have been obtained. In this chapter, we focus on three biophysical methods, turbidimetry, cosedimentation assay, and Förster Resonance Energy Transfer to study Tau-tubulin interaction both in vitro and in cell. We highlight precautions that must be taken in order to avoid pitfalls and we detail the nature of the conclusions that can be drawn from these methods about Tau-tubulin interaction.

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