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FEBS Lett. 2000 Dec 15;486(3):281-4.

CREB is cleaved by caspases during neural cell apoptosis.

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Institute of Molecular Biosciences, Massey University, Private Bag 11222, Palmerston North, New Zealand.


Programmed cell death, or apoptosis, is a tightly regulated process mediated by selective cleavage of proteins by caspases, resulting in ordered destruction of the cell. In addition to structural proteins, proteins that mediate anti-apoptotic signal transduction are also substrates; their destruction eliminates potential futile attempts to escape execution. We asked whether cAMP response element binding protein (CREB), a transcription factor that mediates nerve growth factor (NGF) survival signals, is a target for caspases during apoptosis. CREB was specifically cleaved by caspases in neuroblastoma extracts, and in cells induced to undergo apoptosis by staurosporine. The destruction of CREB eliminates a key factor that could reverse apoptosis.

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