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Pathogenic tau decreases nuclear tension in cultured neurons

We are dipping our toes into the world of nuclear mechanics 😊. Frost lab grad student Claira Sohn has discovered that pathogenic forms of tau cause an overall decrease in nuclear tension in cultured neuroblastoma cells:



Claira became interested in a potential role for tau in nuclear mechanotransduction based on our previous studies showing that pathogenic forms of tau destabilize the lamin nucleoskeleton:



To quantify the effects of induced tau expression on nuclear mechanics, Claira utilized a very cool FRET-based sensor of nuclear tension that was originally developed by Paul Arsenovic and Daniel Conway.


Claira’s work provides proof-of-principle data that pathogenic tau alters the mechanical properties of the nucleus. Claira is a 3rd year graduate student in our Biology of Aging Discipline at UT Health San Antonio. This work was made possible by important contributions from our close collaborators Jim Ray and Jiacheng Ma at the MD Anderson Neurodegeneration Consortium.


This study was funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA). Claira is funded through our Biology of Aging T32 and received past support through a National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) R25. Not only is Claira a delight to have in the lab, she is currently the President of our UT Health San AntonioSACNAS chapter.





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