Tau aggregates are present in several neurodegenerative diseases and correlate with the severity of memory deficit in AD (Alzheimer's disease). However, the triggers of tau aggregation and tau-induced neurodegeneration are still elusive. The impairment of protein-degradation systems might play a role in such processes, as these pathways normally keep tau levels at a low level which may prevent aggregation. Some proteases can process tau and thus contribute to tau aggregation by generating amyloidogenic fragments, but the complete clearance of tau mainly relies on the UPS (ubiquitin–proteasome system) and the ALS (autophagy–lysosome system). In the present paper, we focus on the regulation of the degradation of tau by the UPS and ALS and its relation to tau aggregation. We anticipate that stimulation of these two protein-degradation systems might be a potential therapeutic strategy for AD and other tauopathies.

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