Self-assembly of the brain MAP-2 microtubule-binding region into polymeric structures resembling Alzheimer filaments

Edith Yi Zhang, Michael A. DeTure, Michael R. Bubb, Tamara L. Caviston, Gregory W. Erdos, Scott D. Whittaker, Daniel L. Purich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


The neuronal microtubule-associated protein known as MAP-2 has not been considered to be a subunit of paired helical filaments (PHFs) in neurofibrillary tangles seen in Alzheimer's Disease. We now describe the assembly of paired helical filament-like structures from MAP-2's 203-residue microtubule-binding region (MTBR). SDS gel electrophoresis and equilibrium ultracentrifugation suggest that a dimeric form, cross-linked by an interchain disulfide, is involved in polymerization. MAP-2 MTBR polymers bind thioflavin-S, a dye used to histochemically localize Alzheimer neurofibrillary tangles. Our finding that PHF-like structures assemble from a MAP-2 fragment raises new questions about MAP-2's role in the etiology of Alzheimer's Disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-181
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 4 1996


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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