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CREB is a bZIP transcription factor that activates target genes through cAMP response elements. CREB is able to mediate signals from numerous physiological stimuli, resulting in regulation of a broad array of cellular responses. While CREB is expressed in numerous tissues, it plays a large regulatory role in the nervous system. CREB is believed to play a key role in promoting neuronal survival, precursor proliferation, neurite outgrowth and neuronal differentiation in certain neuronal populations. CREB promotes outgrowth and differentiation as a mediator of Neurotrophin pathways.
Images: Confocal immunofluorescent analysis of mouse dentate gyrus stained with Tau (red) and CREB (blue) and western blot analysis of extracts from 293, COS and PC12 cells, using CREB.
Additionally, CREB signaling is involved in learning and memory in several organisms. CREB is able to selectively activate numerous downstream genes through interactions with different dimerization partners. CREB is activated by phosphorylation at Ser133 by various signaling pathways including Erk, Ca2+ and stress signaling. Some of the kinases involved in phosphorylating CREB at Ser133 are p90RSK, MSK, CaMKIV and MAPKAPK.