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Science 303 (5655): 197-202

Copyright © 2004 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Dendrite Development Regulated by CREST, a Calcium-Regulated Transcriptional Activator

Hiroyuki Aizawa,* Shu-Ching Hu,* Kathryn Bobb, Karthik Balakrishnan, Gulayse Ince, Inga Gurevich, Mitra Cowan, Anirvan Ghosh{dagger}{ddagger}

Abstract: The lasting effects of neuronal activity on brain development involve calcium-dependent gene expression. Using a strategy called transactivator trap, we cloned a calcium-responsive transactivator called CREST (for calcium-responsive transactivator). CREST is a SYT-related nuclear protein that interacts with adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP) response element–binding protein (CREB)–binding protein (CBP) and is expressed in the developing brain. Mice that have a targeted disruption of the crest gene are viable but display defects in cortical and hippocampal dendrite development. Cortical neurons from crest mutant mice are compromised in calcium-dependent dendritic growth. Thus, calcium activation of CREST-mediated transcription helps regulate neuronal morphogenesis.

Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.

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* These authors contributed equally to this work.

{dagger} Present address: Division of Biology, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.

{ddagger} To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: aghosh{at}

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