The potential function of neuronal tau was found by our recent studies on the effect of tau on the melting temperature of both calf thymus DNA and plasmid pBluescript-II SK (Hua and He, Chin. Sci. Bull. 2000, 45:999-1001). Herein we examined whether or not the interaction of tau with DNA was related to phosphorylation and aggregation. Tau, phosphorylated by neuronal cdc2-like kinase, associated with DNA as shown by electrophoretic mobility shift assay. Similar to native tau, phosphorylated tau could increase the melting temperature of calf thymus DNA. When tau was aggregated or treated with formaldehyde, neither native tau nor phosphorylated tau kept its ability to interact with DNA, suggesting that binding of tau to DNA was in an aggregation-dependent, and a phosphorylation-independent, manner.
Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.