Saitohin, which is nested within the tau gene, interacts with tau and Abl and its human-specific allele influences Abl phosphorylation

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Cell Biology; Shriver Center



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Alleles; Amino Acid Sequence; Base Sequence; Blotting, Western; Humans; Immunoprecipitation; Molecular Sequence Data; Phosphorylation; Protein Binding; Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-abl; Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction; tau Proteins


Cell Biology


Saitohin (STH) is a gene unique to humans and their closest relatives whose function is not yet known. STH contains a single polymorphism (Q7R); the Q allele is human-specific and confers susceptibility to several neurodegenerative diseases. In previous work, we discovered that STH interacts with Peroxiredoxin 6 (Prdx6), a unique member of that family which is bifunctional and whose levels increase in Pick's disease. In this study, we report that STH also interacts with tau and the non-receptor tyrosine kinase c-Abl (Abl). Furthermore, Abl phosphorylates STH on its single tyrosine residue and STH increases tyrosine phosphorylation by Abl. The effect of Saitohin on Abl-mediated phosphorylation appears to be allele-specific, providing evidence for a new cellular function for STH.

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Citation: J Cell Biochem. 2011 Nov;112(11):3482-8. doi: 10.1002/jcb.23279.

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