CREB and its close relatives are now widely accepted as prototypical stimulus-inducible transcription factors. In many cell types, these factors function as effector molecules that bring about cellular changes in response to discrete sets of instructions. In neurons, a wide range of extracellular stimuli are capable of activating CREB family members, and CREB-dependent gene expression has been implicated in complex and diverse processes ranging from development to plasticity to disease. In this review, we focus on the current level of understanding of where, when, and how CREB family members function in the nervous system.
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