Dyrk1A overexpression leads to increase of 3R-tau expression and cognitive deficits in Ts65Dn Down syndrome mice.
Sci Rep. 2017 Apr 4 ;7(1):619. Epub 2017 Apr 4. PMID: 28377597
Alternative splicing of tau exon 10 generates tau isoforms with three or four microtubule-binding repeats, 3R-tau and 4R-tau, which is equally expressed in adult human brain. Imbalanced expression in 3R-tau and 4R-tau has been found in several sporadic and inherited tauopathies, suggesting that dysregulation of tau exon 10 is sufficient to cause neurodegenerative diseases. We previously reported that Dyrk1A, which is overexpressed in Down syndrome brains, regulates alternative splicing of exogenous tau exon 10. In the present study, we investigated the regulation of endogenous tau exon 10 splicing by Dyrk1A. We found that inhibition of Dyrk1A enhanced tau exon 10 inclusion, leading to an increase in 4R-tau/3R-tau ratio in differentiated-human neuronal progenitors and in the neonatal rat brains. Accompanied with overexpression of Dyrk1A, 3R-tau was increased and 4R-tau was decreased in the neonatal brains of Ts65Dn mice, a model of Down syndrome. Treatment with Dyrk1A inhibitor, green tea flavonol epigallocatechin-gallate (EGCG), from gestation to adulthood suppressed 3R-tau expression and rescued anxiety and memory deficits in Ts65Dn mouse brains. Thus, Dyrk1A might be an ideal therapeutic target for Alzheimer's disease, especially for Down syndrome and EGCG which inhibits Dyrk1A may have potential effect on the treatment or prevention of this disease.