CREB: A Key Regulator of Normal and Neoplastic Hematopoiesis

Adv Hematol. 2009;2009:634292. doi: 10.1155/2009/634292. Epub 2009 Aug 27.


The cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) is a nuclear transcription factor downstream of cell surface receptors and mitogens that is critical for normal and neoplastic hematopoiesis. Previous work from our laboratory demonstrated that a majority of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL) overexpress CREB in the bone marrow. To understand the role of CREB in leukemogenesis, we examined the biological effect of CREB overexpression on primary leukemia cells, leukemia cell lines, and CREB overexpressing transgenic mice. Our results demonstrated that CREB overexpression leads to an increase in cellular proliferation and survival. Furthermore, CREB transgenic mice develop a myeloproliferative disorder with aberrant myelopoiesis in both the bone marrow and spleen. Additional research from other groups has shown that the expression of the cAMP early inducible repressor (ICER), a CREB repressor, is also deregulated in leukemias. And, miR-34b, a microRNA that negative regulates CREB expression, is expressed at lower levels in myeloid leukemia cell lines compared to that of healthy bone marrow. Taken together, these data suggest that CREB plays a role in cellular transformation. The data also suggest that CREB-specific signaling pathways could possibly serve as potential targets for therapeutic intervention.