Targeting CREB for cancer therapy: friend or foe

Curr Cancer Drug Targets. 2010 Jun;10(4):384-91. doi: 10.2174/156800910791208535.

Abstract

The cyclic-AMP response element-binding protein (CREB) is a nuclear transcription factor activated by phosphorylation at Ser133 by multiple serine/threonine (Ser/Thr) kinases. Upon phosphorylation, CREB binds the transcriptional co-activator, CBP (CREB-binding protein), to initiate CREB-dependent gene transcription. CREB is a critical regulator of cell differentiation, proliferation and survival in the nervous system. Recent studies have shown that CREB is involved tumor initiation, progression and metastasis, supporting its role as a proto-oncogene. Overexpression and over-activation of CREB were observed in cancer tissues from patients with prostate cancer, breast cancer, non-small-cell lung cancer and acute leukemia while down-regulation of CREB in several distinct cancer cell lines resulted in inhibition of cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis, suggesting that CREB may be a promising target for cancer therapy. Although CREB, as a transcription factor, is a challenging target for small molecules, various small molecules have been discovered to inhibit CREB phosphorylation, CREB-DNA, or CREB-CBP interaction. These results suggest that CREB is a suitable transcription factor for drug targeting and therefore targeting CREB could represent a novel strategy for cancer therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein / drug effects
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Phosphorylation

Substances

  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein