The results were published online June 4 as the Paper of the Week in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. As a Paper of the Week, Kosik's work is among the top 2 percent of manuscripts the journal reviews in a year. Based on significance and overall importance, between 50 and 100 papers are selected for this honor from the more than 6,600 published each year.
Treatments for hyperphosphorylated tau, one of the main causes of Alzheimer's disease, do not exist. Current treatment is restricted to drugs that increase the concentration of neurotransmitters to promote signaling between neurons.
According to the authors, the fact that treatment with diaminothiazole kinase inhibitors reduced the phosphorylation of tau provides strong evidence that small molecular kinase inhibitor treatment could slow the progression of tau pathology. "Given the contribution of both CDK5 and GSK3ß to tau phosphorylation," said Kosik, "effective treatment of tauopathies may require dual kinase targeting."
Madison Cornwell, a Beckman Scholar with UCSB's Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships who worked in Kosik's lab, added: "As a beginning step, we demonstrated that two of these compounds were successful in clearing the brain of tau tangles in a mouse model, but someday inhibitors of these kinases may serve to ameliorate the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease in patients."
Julie Cohen | EurekAlert!
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