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International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Volume 2011, Article ID 428970, 16 pages
Review Article

Yeast as a Model System to Study Tau Biology

Laboratory of Functional Biology, Catholic University of Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 31, 3001 Heverlee, Belgium

Received 7 December 2010; Accepted 21 January 2011

Academic Editor: Jeff Kuret

Copyright © 2011 Ann De Vos et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hyperphosphorylated and aggregated human protein tau constitutes a hallmark of a multitude of neurodegenerative diseases called tauopathies, exemplified by Alzheimer's disease. In spite of an enormous amount of research performed on tau biology, several crucial questions concerning the mechanisms of tau toxicity remain unanswered. In this paper we will highlight some of the processes involved in tau biology and pathology, focusing on tau phosphorylation and the interplay with oxidative stress. In addition, we will introduce the development of a human tau-expressing yeast model, and discuss some crucial results obtained in this model, highlighting its potential in the elucidation of cellular processes leading to tau toxicity.