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J Biol Chem. 1996 Feb 9;271(6):3066-73.

Regulation of activating transcription factor-1 and the cAMP response element-binding protein by Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinases type I, II, and IV.

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  • 1Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon 97201, USA.


The ability of activating transcription factor-1 (ATF1) or the cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) to enhance transcription can be stimulated by increases in intracellular Ca2+ concentrations. To identify protein kinases which may mediate the ability of Ca2+ to activate these transcription factors, we compared the ability of constitutively active forms of several Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinases (CaM kinases) to activate ATF1 or CREB. We find that constitutively active CaM kinase I and IV can activate both ATF1 and CREB. In addition, expression vectors for full-length CaM kinase I and IV were able to augment the ability of Ca2+ influx to activate ATF1 or CREB consistent with a role for these kinases in mediating transcriptional responses to Ca2+ signaling. In contrast, CaM kinase II was unable to activate either ATF1 or CREB. These findings provide a potential mechanism that may permit variation in the ability of ATF1 and CREB to respond to changes in intracellular Ca2+ concentrations depending on differences in the relative concentrations of specific CaM kinases.

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