The cAMP-regulated enhancer-binding protein ATF-1 activates transcription in response to cAMP-dependent protein kinase A

R. P. Rehfuss, K. M. Walton, M. M. Loriaux, R. H. Goodman

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171 Scopus citations


Many promoters respond transcriptionally to elevated levels of cAMP through the cAMP-responsive enhancer (CRE). Several proteins have been characterized which bind to the CRE and presumably modulate CRE-dependent transcription. Of these CRE-binding proteins, only CREB has been shown to be activated by cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA), and as such, CREB represents the only basis for our understanding of cAMP-regulated transcriptional activity. In this report, we describe the complete cDNA sequence of another CRE-binding protein, ATF-1. This protein contains a consensus phosphorylation site for PKA and shares extensive homology with CREB in the region surrounding and carboxyl-terminal to the PKA site. ATF-1 does not contain sequences homologous to the glutamine-rich amino-terminal domain found in CREB, however. ATF-1, like CREB, is expressed in a wide variety of cell types, and ATF-1 is capable of dimerizing with CREB. Both ATF-1 homodimers and ATF-1/CREB heterodimers bind to the CRE but not to the related phorbol ester response element. ATF-1 is as active as CREB in its ability to mediate the transcriptional effects of PKA, and, because ATF-1 has a smaller effect on basal expression, it is actually more responsive than CREB to cAMP. These findings indicate that CREB is not unique in its ability to mediate cAMP-dependent transcriptional regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18431-18434
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number28
StatePublished - Nov 22 1991


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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