Word of the Week: CREB

Feb 05 2012 Published by under Word of the Week

Today's word of the week is actually an acronym: CREB, the c-AMP response element binding protein. CREB is a very popular protein in studies of things like addiction and mood disorders, and particularly interesting to people to study memory. It binds to specific bits of DNA (called, easily enough c-AMP response elements), and by binding to the site, can cause the genes downstream from that area to either increase or decrease in transcription. It controls the transcription of many other important proteins, including things like somatostatin, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and corticotropin releasing hormone. Though CREB causes changes in these proteins and others, many scientists study CREB itself, looking for changes there first, and then looking at what genes are affected.

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