Editors' ChoiceNeurobiology

Odorants Modulate CREB in Olfactory Neurons

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Science's STKE  14 Dec 1999:
Vol. 1999, Issue 12, pp. tw3
DOI: 10.1126/stke.1999.12.tw3

Stimulation of odorant receptors in olfactory neurons can result in an immediate and a delayed increase in intracellular cAMP. While the immediate cAMP response includes an influx of sodium and calcium and the generation of an action potential, the later cAMP signal is thought to produce long-term changes in neuron function, possibly through modulation of gene expression. Moon et al. report that phosphorylation of a transcription factor called the cAMP-responsive binding protein (CREB) occurred in the olfactory epithelium of mice when they were exposed to various odorants. Phosphorylation occurred at a specific serine residue, a modification required for CREB activation and DNA binding. Exposure of olfactory receptor cells to cGMP also stimulated phosphorylation of CREB. The authors previously proposed that the cGMP activates protein kinase G, which in turn activates adenyl cyclase and causes the observed delayed increase in intracellular cAMP. This report may extend this cGMP-cAMP signaling pathway to CREB and the transcription of specific genes.

Moon, C., Sung, Y.-K., Reddy, R., and Ronnett, G.V. (1999) Odorants induce the phosphorylation of the cAMP response element binding protein in olfactory receptor neurons. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 96: 14605-14610. [Abstract] [Full Text]

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