Cyclic AMP Response Element Binding protein (CREB) is a basic / leucine zipper transcription factor that binds the cyclic AMP response element (CRE) and activates transcription in response to a variety of extracellular signals including neurotransmitters, hormones, membrane depolarization, and growth and neurotrophic factors. Activation of CREB is dependent upon the phosphorylation of serine 133. Phosphorylation occurs via p44 / 42 MAP kinase and p90RSK and also via p38 MAP kinase and MSK 1. Although CREB will bind DNA independent of its phosphorylation state, only the phosphorylated form is competent as a transcription factor. CREB binding protein (CBP), a transcriptional coactivator that directly interacts with CREB, binds to CREB in the region of serine 133. CREB appears to play an important role in learning and memory. CREB knock out mice show diminished learning ability.
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