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Anticancer Res. 1994 Sep-Oct;14(5A):1801-5.

The CREB/ATF family of transcription factors: modulation by reversible phosphorylation.

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  • 1European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Differentiation Programme, Heidelberg, Germany.


Changes in genetic programming of a cell are brought about by modulating the activity of transcription factors which control the initiation of gene transcription by RNA polymerase II. Phosphorylation of transcription factors as a regulatory mechanism is both rapid and readily reversible. Moreover, because a transcription factor can be targeted by several protein kinases and phosphatases, this covalent modification can effectively integrate information carried by multiple signal transduction pathways, thereby providing a palette for great versatility and flexibility in the regulation of gene expression. The CREB/ATF family of transcription factors serves as a paradigm illustrating the phosphorylation-mediated transfer of regulatory information from the cell surface to the nucleus.

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