Tau target identification reveals NSF-dependent effects on AMPA receptor trafficking and memory formation

Emmanuel Prikas, Esmeralda Paric, Prita R. Asih, Kristie Stefanoska, Holly Stefen, Thomas Fath, Anne Poljak, Arne Ittner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Microtubule-associated protein tau is a central factor in Alzheimer's disease and other tauopathies. However, the physiological functions of tau are unclear. Here, we used proximity-labelling proteomics to chart tau interactomes in primary neurons and mouse brains in vivo. Tau interactors map onto pathways of cytoskeletal, synaptic vesicle and postsynaptic receptor regulation and show significant enrichment for Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and prion disease. We find that tau interacts with and dose-dependently reduces the activity of N-ethylmaleimide sensitive fusion protein (NSF), a vesicular ATPase essential for AMPA-type glutamate receptor (AMPAR) trafficking. Tau-deficient (tau−/−) neurons showed mislocalised expression of NSF and enhanced synaptic AMPAR surface levels, reversible through the expression of human tau or inhibition of NSF. Consequently, enhanced AMPAR-mediated associative and object recognition memory in tau−/− mice is suppressed by both hippocampal tau and infusion with an NSF-inhibiting peptide. Pathologic mutant tau from mouse models or Alzheimer's disease significantly enhances NSF inhibition. Our results map neuronal tau interactomes and delineate a functional link of tau with NSF in plasticity-associated AMPAR-trafficking and memory.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere10242
Number of pages24
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2022


  • AMPA receptor
  • associative learning
  • interactome
  • proximity labelling
  • tau


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