CPEB: a life in translation

Trends Biochem Sci. 2007 Jun;32(6):279-85. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2007.04.004. Epub 2007 May 4.


Nearly two decades ago, Xenopus oocytes were found to contain mRNAs harboring a small sequence in their 3' untranslated regions that control cytoplasmic polyadenylation and translational activation during development. This cytoplasmic polyadenylation element (CPE) is the binding platform for CPE-binding protein (CPEB), which promotes polyadenylation-induced translation. Since then, the biochemistry and biology of CPEB has grown rather substantially: mechanistically, CPEB nucleates a complex of factors that regulates poly(A) elongation through, of all things, a deadenylating enzyme; biologically, CPEB mediates many processes including germ-cell development, cell division and cellular senescence, and synaptic plasticity and learning and memory. These observations underscore the growing complexities of CPEB involvement in cell function.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Chemistry
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Cellular Senescence / physiology
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Memory / physiology
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
  • Oogenesis / physiology
  • Protein Biosynthesis / drug effects
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Synapses / physiology
  • Transcription Factors / physiology
  • Xenopus Proteins / physiology
  • Xenopus laevis
  • mRNA Cleavage and Polyadenylation Factors / physiology*


  • Cpeb1 protein, Xenopus
  • Cpeb3 protein, mouse
  • Cpeb4 protein, mouse
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Xenopus Proteins
  • mRNA Cleavage and Polyadenylation Factors