Multiple mRNA isoforms of the transcription activator protein CREB: Generation by alternative splicing and specific expression in primary spermatocytes

S. Ruppert, T. J. Cole, M. Boshart, E. Schmid, G. Schutz

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We have characterized cDNA clones representing mouse CREB (cyclic AMP responsive element binding protein) mRNA isoforms. These include CREBΔ and CREBα, of which the rat and human homologues have been previously identified. Both encode proteins with CRE-binding activity and identical transactivation potential. The additional CREB mRNA isoforms potentially encode CREB related proteins. From the structural organization of the mouse CREB gene we conclude that the multiple transcripts are generated by alternative splicing. Furthermore we show that specific CREB mRNA isoforms are expressed at a high level in the adult testis. Expression of these isoforms is induced after commencement of spermatogenesis. In situ hybridization suggests that this expression occurs predominantly in the primary spermatocytes. Comparison of the CREB gene with the recently isolated CREM (cAMP responsive element modulator) cDNAs illustrates that the two genes have arisen by gene duplication and have diverged to encode transcriptional activators and repressors of the cAMP signal transduction pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1503-1512
Number of pages10
JournalThe EMBO Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Alternative splicing
  • CREB gene
  • CREM gene
  • Gene duplication
  • Spermatocytes

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