In this paper we report the isolation and characterization of the mouse CREB gene. It is composed of 11 exons and 10 introns and spans a region of 70 kb. BR-A and BR-B, the two α-helical regions of the proposed basic DNA binding domain of CREB, are encoded separately on exons 10 and 11. The mouse CREB gene is expressed from a promoter that is situated in a CpG island. The promoter contains no TATA or CCAAT box homologies but has a number of putative binding sites for the acidic transcriptional activator Sp1 and a 9 11 match with the initiator region. Transcriptional start site mapping identified five major start sites spread over at least 41 nucleotides. Northern blot analysis indicated that expression of the CREB gene is almost ubiquitous with expression at differing levels of multiple transcripts. Testis expressed a predominent RNA species of approximately 1.6 kb. The CREB gene was found to be single copy in the mouse and well conserved through evolution. Finally Creb-1, the CREB locus, was mapped to the proximal region of mouse chromosome 1.