Secretion of misfolded tau, a microtubule-binding protein enriched in nerve cells, is linked to the progression of tau pathology. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying tau secretion are poorly understood. Recent work by Lee et al. [Biochemical J. (2021) 478: 1471–1484] demonstrated that the transmembrane domains of syntaxin6 and syntaxin8 could be exploited for tau release, setting a stage for testing a novel hypothesis that has profound implications in tauopathies (e.g. Alzheimer's disease, FTDP-17, and CBD/PSP) and other related neurodegenerative diseases. The present commentary highlights the importance and limitations of the study, and discusses opportunities and directions for future investigations.

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