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|Title:||Mechanistic Understanding of Tau Alternative Splicing in Neurons Using Proteomics|
|Department:||Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences|
|Abstract:||Tauopathies refer to a group of neurodegenerative diseases that are characterized by pathological aggregations of the microtubule-associated protein Tau (MAPT). Aberrant alternative splicing of Tau exon 10 leads to the imbalanced expression of Tau isoforms that contain either 3 or 4 microtubule binding repeats (3R-Tau or 4R-Tau) and this is sufficient to cause the formation of Tau inclusions. Nonetheless, the exact molecular mechanisms that regulate aberrant Tau exon 10 splicing regulation and subsequent Tau aggregation in tauopathies remain elusive. In my thesis research, I used RNA Antisense Purification by Mass Spectrometry (RAP-MS) to identify upstream regulators of Tau splicing events. Among the 15 identified novel protein candidates, I validated that hnRNPA2B1 and hnRNPC are required to promote 4R-Tau expression, whereas hnRNPH1 supports 3R-Tau expression. Separately, to elucidate the functional difference between 3R- and 4R-Tau isoforms, I performed proximity-dependent biotin identification (BioID2) for all six human central nervous system Tau isoforms in mouse primary neurons. Followed by tandem mass tag (TMT)-labeling proteomics and data analysis, I observed that 4R-Tau proximal proteins are highly enriched in endocytosis, whereas 3R-Tau proximal proteins show top enrichment in fatty acid metabolism. Through further biochemical validations, I found that MAT2A, a S-adenosylmethionine synthase, has higher binding affinity with 3R-Tau versus 4R-Tau. Overall, using novel proteomics methods, I discovered novel Tau splicing regulators and characterized the neuronal Tau isoform-specific proximity proteome networks. These proteins, once validated through future functional studies in cellular and animal models, can represent therapeutic and diagnostic targets for neurodegenerative tauopathies.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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