DEVELOPMENTAL NEUROSCIENCEDistinct patterns of tau-dependent process formation in mammalian cell linesBruijn, Lucie I.1; Krishnamurthy, Pavan K.; Gallo, Jean-MarcCAAuthor Information Department of Neurology, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK 1Present address: The ALS Association, Research Department, 4338 Lavender Drive, Palm Harbor, FL 34685, USA CACorresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org Received 27 July 2004; accepted 12 August 2004 NeuroReport: October 5th, 2004 - Volume 15 - Issue 14 - p 2223-2226 Buy SDC Abstract Tau is a microtubule-associated protein involved in axonal elongation and central to the pathogenesis of a number of neurodegenerative conditions. To better establish the contribution of the cellular context to tau-dependent microtubule organization, we compared the phenotypes resulting from heterologous tau expression in different mammalian cell lines after disruption of the actin cytoskeleton. After cytochalasin D treatment, tau-expressing CHO cells display one or two long neurite-like extensions whereas cells transfected with MAP2c developed multiple shorter processes. By contrast, under the same conditions, tau-transfected PtK2 cells elaborate microtubule bundles forming numerous processes. These results suggest that cell-specific factors are involved in tau-dependent microtubule organization, a notion that could facilitate functional assessment of tau abnormalities associated with neurodegenerative disease. © 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.