Reproductive Endocrine Unit, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 021 14, USA. Key words: transcription factors, signed transduction, bZip proteins, CREB, CREM, protein kinase-A. Transcriptional control of gene expression is mediated through the binding of transcription factors to specific DNA regulatory elements commonly located in the promoter regions of target genes. Some transcription factors stimulate or repress gene expression in response to extracellular stimuli delivered to the cell membrane by hormones, neurotransmitters or growth factors. Biochemical mechanisms that link the cell membrane to the nucleus are hierarchically arranged along second messenger pathways that are activated by hormone binding to specific cellsurface receptors. Hormone-induced gene expression usually involves the selective activation of protein kinases and the resultant phosphorylation of transcription factors, thus causing changes in the transcription rates of specific genes ( 1). The CAMP-dependent signal transduction pathway mediates transcriptional responses of many genes. A detailed analysis of the promoter regions of different CAMP-responsive genes led to the identification of a short sequence (5'-TGACGTCA-3') whose integrity is required for the transcriptional response to CAMP. This common palindromic octamer is therefore referred to as CAMP-response element (CRE ). The CRE and related sequence motifs are
Journal of Neuroendocrinology – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 1994
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