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Oncotarget. 2016 Jun 7;7(23):35454-65. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.7721.

Control of CREB expression in tumors: from molecular mechanisms and signal transduction pathways to therapeutic target.

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Institute of Medical Immunology, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany.


The cyclic AMP response element binding (CREB) protein has pleiotropic activities in physiologic processes. Due to its central position downstream of many growth signaling pathways CREB has the ability to influence cell survival, growth and differentiation of normal, but also of tumor cells suggesting an oncogenic potential of CREB. Indeed, increased CREB expression and activation is associated with tumor progression, chemotherapy resistance and reduced patients' survival. We summarize here the different cellular functions of CREB in tumors of distinct histology as well as its use as potential prognostic marker. In addition, the underlying molecular mechanisms to achieve constitutive activation of CREB including structural alterations, such as gene amplification and chromosomal translocation, and deregulation, which could occur at the transcriptional, post-transcriptional and post-translational level, will be described. Since downregulation of CREB by different strategies resulted in inhibition of cell proliferation, invasion and induction of apoptosis, the role of CREB as a promising target for cancer therapy will be also discussed.


CREB; prognostic marker; regulation; target; transcription factor; tumor

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