The role of ATF/CREB family members in cell growth, survival and apoptosis

Apoptosis. 2003 Jun;8(3):225-8. doi: 10.1023/a:1023633704132.


Programmed cell death is an integral part of the mechanisms regulating tissue homeostasis. Defects in the apoptotic signaling pathway are often associated with uncontrolled cell proliferation, high mutation rate and malignant transformation. Transcription factors, such as the mammalian ATF/CREB family of transcriptional regulators, have diverse functions in controlling cell proliferation and apoptosis. One particular ATF/CREB family member, ATFx, is an anti-apoptotic factor that plays an essential role in cell survival. Current observations indicate that one mechanism by which ATFx inhibits cell death and promotes cell survival is by disrupting signal transmission from activated "death receptors" to initiator caspases. A better understanding of ATFx function should provide new insight into the processes that control apoptotic cascades.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activating Transcription Factors
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Blood Proteins / genetics
  • Blood Proteins / metabolism*
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Caspases / genetics
  • Caspases / metabolism
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Cell Survival / physiology
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein / genetics
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein / metabolism*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / genetics
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • ATF7 protein, human
  • Activating Transcription Factors
  • Blood Proteins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Transcription Factors
  • Caspases