PDB ID: 5D2V
Within healthy neurons, tau proteins are responsible for stabilizing microtubules within the cell. Unfortunately, in instances associated with neurodegenerative disease these proteins are found to aggregate and form bulk tangles within the neuron, leading to a flawed network of neuronal communication and ultimately neuronal degradation. This neurodegeneration is believed to stem from a flawed ubiquitin proteasomal system, which is responsible for degradation of damaged protein clean-up. Without ubiquitin tags, these tau proteins are not broken down and recycled into healthy proteins, and in turn aggregate, cause cellular traffic, and lead to cell death.