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Neuron. 2002 Jan 31;33(3):383-95.

A calcium-responsive transcription factor, CaRF, that regulates neuronal activity-dependent expression of BDNF.

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Division of Neuroscience, Children's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Transcription of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene is regulated in a calcium- and neuron-selective manner; however, the mechanisms that underlie this selectivity are not known. We have characterized a new calcium-response element, CaRE1, that is required for activity-dependent transcription of BDNF exon III and have cloned a transcription factor, CaRF, that activates transcription from BDNF promoter III in a CaRE1-dependent manner. The transcriptional activity of CaRF is regulated in a calcium- and neuron-selective manner, suggesting that CaRF may confer selectivity upon the activity-dependent induction of BDNF exon III expression.

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