Inducible cAMP early repressor (ICER) isoforms and neuronal apoptosis in cortical in vitro culture
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CREB activation and CREB-dependent signaling pathways are crucial for neuronal survival. The term ICER (inducible cAMP early repressor) refers to four protein isoforms that are all endogenous, inducible antagonists of CREB. Jaworski and others (2003) have previously shown that one of those isoforms, ICER II, is highly expressed in apoptotic neurons in vitro and its overexpression evokes neuronal death. In this study we investigated the role of all four ICER isoforms in cortical neuronal culture, comparing their expression level in serum-deprived/MK-801-treated neurons and their pro-apoptotic properties towards transfected cortical neurons. We have found that all four isoforms are induced upon pro-apoptotic treatment, and also that each of them separately evokes neuronal cell death following cortical culture transfection with the genes. The most efficiently induced, as well as the most effective in evoking neuronal cell death, were both ICER Igamma and IIgamma isoforms.
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Leszek Karczmarek, Department of Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Pasteura 3, 02-093 Warsaw, Poland