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Brain Res. 2010 Jul 16;1344:1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2010.04.069. Epub 2010 May 6.

Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays revealed CREB and serine 133 phospho-CREB binding to the CART gene proximal promoter.

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Yerkes National Research Primate Center of Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA.


Both over expression of cyclic AMP response element binding protein (CREB) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), and intra-accumbal injection of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) peptides, have been shown to decrease cocaine reward. Also, over expression of CREB in the rat NAc increased CART mRNA and peptide levels, but it is not known if this was due to a direct action of P-CREB on the CART gene promoter. The goal of this study was to test if CREB and P-CREB bound directly to the CRE site in the CART promoter, using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays. ChIP assay with anti-CREB antibodies showed an enrichment of the CART promoter fragment containing the CRE region over IgG precipitated material, a non-specific control. Forskolin, which was known to increase CART mRNA levels in GH3 cells, was utilized to show that the drug increased levels of P-CREB protein and P-CREB binding to the CART promoter CRE-containing region. A region of the c-Fos promoter containing a CRE cis-regulatory element was previously shown to bind P-CREB, and it was used here as a positive control. These data suggest that the effects of CREB over expression on blunting cocaine reward could be, at least in part, attributed to the increased expression of the CART gene by direct interaction of P-CREB with the CART promoter CRE site, rather than by some indirect action.

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