The function of the microtubule-associated protein tau is variably modulated by graded changes in glycogen synthase kinase-3beta activity.
Leroy K., Menu R., Conreur JL., Dayanandan R., Lovestone S., Anderton BH., Brion JP.
The microtubule-associated protein tau favors microtubule nucleation and stabilization and plays a role in the elongation of axons. We have investigated the ability of glycogen synthase kinase-3beta (GSK-3beta) to control tau-induced processes outgrowth. Tau-transfected Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells developed processes containing microtubule bundles after cytochalasin treatment, but a significant reduction in the number of cells harboring processes was observed in tau/GSK-3beta-co-transfected cells. Lithium, an inhibitor of GSK-3beta, counteracted in a dose-dependent manner this inhibitory effect of GSK-3beta. These findings suggest that GSK-3beta modulates in a graded manner the ability of tau to control the microtubule-dependent induction of cell processes.