Caroline He

UC Santa Barbara

Finding proteins and pathways responsible for tau oligomer mediated neuron death in Alzheimer's Dementia

The spread of oligomeric forms of the tau protein has been linked to neuron death in Alzheimer's Dementia (AD). However, the actual apoptotic pathway that tau oligomers activate is currently unknown. Additionally, many of the signaling pathways tau oligomers do activate are general immune responses that can be triggered by other foreign molecules that are not linked to AD. To look for apoptotic pathways unique to tau oligomers, members of Kosik Lab at UCSB collected drop-seq data from mouse hippocampal tissue infected with either tau oligomers, tau monomers, buffer, or one of three foreign molecules not linked to AD-- green fluorescent protein (GFP), lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and transferrin (TFN). Over the summer, I processed and analyzed this data using GO term analysis and Metascape. I found that genes linked to the NLRP3 inflammasome are especially impacted by tau oligomers and tau monomers when compared to the other foreign molecules.

UC Santa Barbara Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships UCSB California NanoSystems Institute UC Santa Barbara’s Parents Fund Campaign for UC Santa Barbara