December 1, 2005 (Vol. 25, No. 21)


Strong Points: Useful info
Weak Points: Better explanation needed

Before I review any site in this column, I search my database of previous reviews. I was surprised to discover that not only had I not previously reviewed this site, but also that I had only covered sites from the Salk Institute on two occasions in the nine years I’ve done the column. Hmmm. Makes me wonder about some gems there I may have missed. To the matter at hand, CREB is the Cyclic AMP (cAMP) Response Element Binding Protein family of factors involved in control of metabolism, response to growth factors, and other cellular responses. CREB can bind upwards of 5000 human promoter sequences, and can be activated not only by cAMP, but also by calcium, stress, and factors that stimulate mitosis. The database focuses on CREB target genes with information on binding sites, promoter occupancy, and gene activation by cAMP. While the information is extensive and useful, interpretation of the value of returned information is confusing, especially in view of the unclear descriptions.