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Science. 1991 Jun 7;252(5011):1427-30.

CREB: a Ca(2+)-regulated transcription factor phosphorylated by calmodulin-dependent kinases.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115.


The mechanism by which Ca2+ mediates gene induction in response to membrane depolarization was investigated. The adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP) response element-binding protein (CREB) was shown to function as a Ca(2+)-regulated transcription factor and as a substrate for depolarization-activated Ca(2+)-calmodulin-dependent protein kinases (CaM kinases) I and II. CREB residue Ser133 was the major site of phosphorylation by the CaM kinases in vitro and of phosphorylation after membrane depolarization in vivo. Mutation of Ser133 impaired the ability of CREB to respond to Ca2+. These results suggest that CaM kinases may transduce electrical signals to the nucleus and that CREB functions to integrate Ca2+ and cAMP signals.

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