Immunohistochemical analysis was used to assess the distribution of the proline-directed kinase, cdc2, in Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology. A robust signal was most prominent in the neurofibrillary tangle (NFT) of affected neurons that also contained abnormally phosphorylated tau protein. Biochemical analysis identified a pool of cdc2 in bovine brain microtubules that contain normal tau. These results strongly support the hypothesis that cdc2 is involved in the abnormal phosphorylation of tau in AD pathology and they raise important issues regarding regulation of tau phosphorylation in normal and diseased neurons. © 1993.