Tau proteins are proteins that stabilize microtubules. They are abundant in neurons in the central nervous system and are less common elsewhere.
When tau proteins are defective, and no longer stabilize microtubules properly, they can result in dementias, such as Alzheimer's disease.
The tau proteins are the product of alternative splicing from a single gene that in humans is designated ''MAPT''. They were discovered in 1975 in Marc Kirschner's laboratory at Princeton University.
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