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Mol Cell Neurosci. 1995 Apr;6(2):168-83.

Serine 133-phosphorylated CREB induces transcription via a cooperative mechanism that may confer specificity to neurotrophin signals.

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Program in Neuroscience, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


A mechanism has been characterized by which the transcription factor CREB regulates neurotrophin-induced gene expression. Whereas CREB can mediate calcium- or cyclic AMP-induced c-fos transcription independently of other promoter-bound transcription factors, CREB mediates NGF induction of c-fos transcription via a novel mechanism that appears to require a cooperative interaction with another transcription factor, the serum response factor. A similar transcriptional mechanism may explain how neurotrophins and growth factors induce distinct subsets of delayed response genes. Neurotrophins induce the phosphorylation of CREB at a key regulatory site, Serine 133, with prolonged kinetics that are distinct from the transient kinetics of CREB phosphorylation elicited by growth factors. These results indicate that CREB is a versatile transcription factor that activates transcription via distinct mechanisms in a stimulus-specific manner. In addition, by selectively activating delayed response genes, CREB may confer specificity to neurotrophin signals that promote the survival and differentiation of neurons.

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