Tau is a brain microtubule-associated protein that directly binds to a microtubule and dynamically regulates its structure and function. Under pathological conditions, tau self-assembles into filamentous structures that end up forming neurofibrillary tangles. Prominent tau neurofibrillary pathology is a common feature in a number of neurodegenerative disorders, collectively referred to as tauopathies, the most common of which is Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Beyond its classical role as a microtubule-associated protein, recent advances in our understanding of tau cellular functions have revealed novel insights into their important role during pathogenesis and provided potential novel therapeutic targets. Regulation of tau behavior and function under physiological and pathological conditions is mainly achieved through post-translational modifications, including phosphorylation, glycosylation, acetylation, and truncation, among others, indicating the complexity and variability of factors influencing regulation of tau toxicity, all of which have significant implications for the development of novel therapeutic approaches in various neurodegenerative disorders. A more comprehensive understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulating tau function and dysfunction will provide us with a better outline of tau cellular networking and, hopefully, offer new clues for designing more efficient approaches to tackle tauopathies in the near future.
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