Pin-1 is a the peptidylprolyl cis/trans isomerase enzyme which is responsible, as its name suggests, for flipping the proline ring from the cis to the trans conformation.
Pin1 has been implicated in tau pathologies that underlie Alzheimer's Disease. Pin1 binds to tau phosphorylated specifically on the Thr231-Pro site and induces conformational changes in tau. Such conformational changes can directly restore the ability of phosphorylated Tau to bind microtubules and promote microtubule assembly and/or facilitate tau dephosphorylation. Pin1 expression inversely correlates with the predicted neuronal vulnerability in normally aged brain and also with actual neurofibrillary degeneration in AD brain. Pin1 could be pivotal for maintainance of normal neuronal function and preventing age-dependent neurodegeneration. It is also heavily upregulated in tumor cells, so that antibodies to this protein can be used as tumor markers.
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