Cryo-EM structure of heparin-induced 2N3R tau filaments

Experimental Data Snapshot

  • Resolution: 3.70 Å
  • Aggregation State: FILAMENT 
  • Reconstruction Method: SINGLE PARTICLE 

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Heparin-induced tau filaments are polymorphic and differ from those in Alzheimer's and Pick's diseases.

Zhang, W.Falcon, B.Murzin, A.G.Fan, J.Crowther, R.A.Goedert, M.Scheres, S.H.

(2019) Elife 8

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.43584
  • Primary Citation of Related Structures:  
    6QJH, 6QJM, 6QJP, 6QJQ

  • PubMed Abstract: 

    Assembly of microtubule-associated protein tau into filamentous inclusions underlies a range of neurodegenerative diseases. Tau filaments adopt different conformations in Alzheimer's and Pick's diseases. Here, we used cryo- and immuno- electron microscopy to characterise filaments that were assembled from recombinant full-length human tau with four (2N4R) or three (2N3R) microtubule-binding repeats in the presence of heparin. 2N4R tau assembles into multiple types of filaments, and the structures of three types reveal similar 'kinked hairpin' folds, in which the second and third repeats pack against each other. 2N3R tau filaments are structurally homogeneous, and adopt a dimeric core, where the third repeats of two tau molecules pack in a parallel manner. The heparin-induced tau filaments differ from those of Alzheimer's or Pick's disease, which have larger cores with different repeat compositions. Our results illustrate the structural versatility of amyloid filaments, and raise questions about the relevance of in vitro assembly.

  • Organizational Affiliation

    MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Find similar proteins by:  (by identity cutoff)  |  3D Structure
Entity ID: 1
MoleculeChains Sequence LengthOrganismDetailsImage
Microtubule-associated protein tau
A, B, C, D, E
A, B, C, D, E, F
28Homo sapiensMutation(s): 0 
UniProt & NIH Common Fund Data Resources
Find proteins for P10636 (Homo sapiens)
Explore P10636 
Go to UniProtKB:  P10636
PHAROS:  P10636
GTEx:  ENSG00000186868 
Entity Groups  
Sequence Clusters30% Identity50% Identity70% Identity90% Identity95% Identity100% Identity
UniProt GroupP10636
Sequence Annotations
  • Reference Sequence
Experimental Data & Validation

Experimental Data

  • Resolution: 3.70 Å
  • Aggregation State: FILAMENT 
  • Reconstruction Method: SINGLE PARTICLE 
EM Software:
TaskSoftware PackageVersion

Structure Validation

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Entry History & Funding Information

Deposition Data

Funding OrganizationLocationGrant Number
Medical Research Council (United Kingdom)United KingdomMC_UP_A025_1013
Medical Research Council (United Kingdom)United KingdomMC_U105184291

Revision History  (Full details and data files)

  • Version 1.0: 2019-02-20
    Type: Initial release
  • Version 1.1: 2024-05-15
    Changes: Data collection, Database references