University of Illinois at Chicago
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Oligodendrocyte Tau’s failed quest for microtubules results in myelin decrease and falling

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posted on 2016-05-05, 00:00 authored by P LoPresti
Oligodendrocytes make a good-sized myelin that surrounds axons and allows humans to walk and see. In contrast, when axons do not get enough myelin, axonal function is incapacitated, with resulting deficits in cognition, behavior, and in the ability to move. In order to make sufficient myelin, each oligodendrocyte extends as many as 50 branches to reach all the distant axons. The capacity of each oligodendrocyte to extend these branches relies on the microtubules, which are the oligodendrocyte’s bridges to reach the distant shores, the axons. Microtubule strength is regulated by many factors, including the Tau protein, which is a microtubule-associated protein. The binding of Tau to the microtubules makes the microtubules healthy, which assists oligodendrocytes in reaching the axons with a good-sized myelin.


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This is a copy of an abstract published in the Atlas of Science © 2015 Atlas of Science Publications.


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