Document Type


Publication Date



Tau, Synaptic Plasticity, Alzheimer’s Disease, Molecular Chaperone, Proteomics, Mass Spectrometr

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


The microtubule-associated protein tau pathologically accumulates and aggregates in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other tauopathies, leading to cognitive dysfunction and neuronal loss. Molecular chaperones, like small heat-shock proteins (sHsps), can help deter the accumulation of misfolded proteins, such as tau. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the overexpression of wild-type Hsp22 (wtHsp22) and its phosphomimetic (S24,57D) Hsp22 mutant (mtHsp22) could slow tau accumulation and preserve memory in a murine model of tauopathy, rTg4510. Our results show that Hsp22 protected against deficits in synaptic plasticity and cognition in the tauopathic brain. However, we did not detect a significant change in tau phosphorylation or levels in these mice. This led us to hypothesize that the functional benefit was realized through the restoration of dysfunctional pathways in hippocampi of tau transgenic mice since no significant benefit was measured in non-transgenic mice expressing wtHsp22 or mtHsp22. To identify these pathways, we performed mass spectrometry of tissue lysates from the injection site. Overall, our data reveal that Hsp22 overexpression in neurons promotes synaptic plasticity by regulating canonical pathways and upstream regulators that have been characterized as potential AD markers and synaptogenesis regulators, like EIF4E and NFKBIA.

Rights Information

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

International Journal of Molecular Sciences, v. 23, issue 2, art. 851