CREB signalling in neural stem/progenitor cells: Recent developments and the implications for brain tumour biology



This paper discusses the evidence for the role of CREB in neural stem/progenitor cell (NSPC) function and oncogenesis and how these functions may be important for the development and growth of brain tumours. The cyclic-AMP response element binding (CREB) protein has many roles in neurons, ranging from neuronal survival to higher order brain functions such as memory and drug addiction behaviours. Recent studies have revealed that CREB also has a role in NSPC survival, differentiation and proliferation. Recent work has shown that over-expression of CREB in transgenic animals can impart oncogenic properties on cells in various tissues and that aberrant CREB expression is associated with tumours in patients. It is the central position of CREB, downstream of key developmental and growth signalling pathways, which give CREB the ability to influence a spectrum of cell activities, such as cell survival, growth and differentiation in both normal and cancer cells.