Tau phosphorylation by diisopropyl phosphorofluoridate (DFP)-treated hen brain supernatant inhibits its binding with microtubules: role of Ca2+/Calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II in tau phosphorylation.


Journal Article

Diisopropyl phosphorofluoridate (DFP) produces organophosphorus ester-induced delayed neurotoxicity (OPIDN) in hen, human, and other sensitive species. This is characterized by mild ataxia, which progresses to severe ataxia or paralysis in a few days. Ultrastructurally, OPIDN is associated with the degeneration of axons in central and peripheral nervous systems. Bacterially expressed longest human tau protein (htau40) phosphorylated by DFP-treated hen brain supernatant showed a decrease in microtubule binding in a shorter time than that phosphorylated by control hen brain supernatant. The decrease in htau40-microtubule binding observed on htau40 phosphorylation by the recombinant Ca2+/calmodulin (CaM)-dependent protein kinase II (CaM kinase II) alpha-subunit showed that CaM kinase II present in brain supernatant could participate in tau phosphorylation even in the absence of Ca2+/CaM and decrease tau-microtubule binding. In addition, use of htau40 mutants, htau40m1 (Ala416) and htau40m6 (Asp416), suggested that replacement of Ser416 by neutral or acidic amino acid produced some change in htau40 conformation that caused diminished binding with microtubules phosphorylated by brain supernatant in the presence of ethylene glycol bis(beta-aminoethyl ether) N, N'tetraacetic acid (EGTA). The change in conformation produced by Ser416 phosphorylation, however, was different from that produced by mutants since only nonmutated htau40 showed a significant decrease in binding with microtubules on phosphorylation by recombinant CaM kinase II in the presence of Ca2+/CaM compared to that obtained by phosphorylation in the presence of EGTA. This study showed that enhanced Ca2+/CaM-dependent protein kinase activity in DFP-treated hen brain supernatant may cause decreased tau-microtubule binding and destabilization of microtubules and may be involved in axonal degeneration in OPIDN.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gupta, RP; Abou-Donia, MB

Published Date

  • May 15, 1999

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 365 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 268 - 278

PubMed ID

  • 10328822

Pubmed Central ID

  • 10328822

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-9861

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1006/abbi.1999.1165


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States