CREB serine 133 is necessary for spatial cognitive flexibility and long-term potentiation

More, Lorenzo orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-1156-2861, Privitera, Lucia, Perrett, Philippa, Cooper, Daniel D, Bonnello, Manuel Van Gijsel, Arthur, J. Simon C. and Frenguelli, Bruno G. (2022) CREB serine 133 is necessary for spatial cognitive flexibility and long-term potentiation. Neuropharmacology, 219 . ISSN 0028-3908

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The transcription factor cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) is widely regarded as orchestrating the genomic response that underpins a range of physiological functions in the central nervous system, including learning and memory. Of the means by which CREB can be regulated, emphasis has been placed on the phos-phorylation of a key serine residue, S133, in the CREB protein, which is required for CREB-mediated tran-scriptional activation in response to a variety of activity-dependent stimuli. Understanding the role of CREB S133 has been complicated by molecular genetic techniques relying on over-expression of either dominant negative or activating transgenes that may distort the physiological role of endogenous CREB. A more elegant recent approach targeting S133 in the endogenous CREB gene has yielded a mouse with constitutive replacement of this residue with alanine (S133A), but has generated results (no behavioural phenotype and no effect on gene transcription) at odds with contemporary views as to the role of CREB S133, and which may reflect compen-satory changes associated with the constitutive mutation. To avoid this potential complication, we generated a post-natal and forebrain-specific CREB S133A mutant in which the expression of the mutation was under the control of CaMKII alpha promoter. Using male and female mice we show that CREB S133 is necessary for spatial cognitive flexibility, the regulation of basal synaptic transmission, and for the expression of long-term potenti-ation (LTP) in hippocampal area CA1. These data point to the importance of CREB S133 in neuronal function, synaptic plasticity and cognition in the mammalian brain.

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