The activation of cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB)-dependent gene expression seems a crucial step in the molecular cascade that mediates the formation of long-lasting memories. This view is based both on correlative evidence and on functional assays that demonstrate, through loss- and gain-of-function experiments, the impact of CREB manipulation on memory performance. Mechanistically, CREB's role in memory is thought to be a consequence of its participation in long-term forms of synaptic plasticity. Recent studies demonstrate that CREB, in addition to synaptic plasticity, also modulates the intrinsic excitability of the neuron. This discovery reveals new intriguing connections between intrinsic and synaptic plasticity and is likely to have a significant impact on our understanding of the role of CREB in memory formation.
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