Background: CREB is a bZIP transcription factor that activates target genes through cAMP response elements. CREB is able to mediate signals from numerous physiological stimuli, resulting in regulation of a broad array of cellular responses. While CREB is expressed in numerous tissues, it plays a large regulatory role in the nervous system. CREB is believed to play a key role in promoting neuronal survival, precursor proliferation, neurite outgrowth, and neuronal differentiation in certain neuronal populations (1-3). Additionally, CREB signaling is involved in learning and memory in several organisms (4-6). CREB is able to selectively activate numerous downstream genes through interactions with different dimerization partners. CREB is activated by phosphorylation at Ser133 by various signaling pathways including Erk, Ca2+, and stress signaling. Some of the kinases involved in phosphorylating CREB at Ser133 are p90RSK, MSK, CaMKIV, and MAPKAPK-2 (7-9).
Background: Cadherins are a superfamily of transmembrane glycoproteins that contain cadherin repeats of approximately 100 residues in their extracellular domain. Cadherins mediate calcium-dependent cell-cell adhesion and play critical roles in normal tissue development (1). The classic cadherin subfamily includes N-, P-, R-, B-, and E-cadherins, as well as about ten other members that are found in adherens junctions, a cellular structure near the apical surface of polarized epithelial cells. The cytoplasmic domain of classical cadherins interacts with β-catenin, γ-catenin (also called plakoglobin), and p120 catenin. β-catenin and γ-catenin associate with α-catenin, which links the cadherin-catenin complex to the actin cytoskeleton (1,2). While β- and γ-catenin play structural roles in the junctional complex, p120 regulates cadherin adhesive activity and trafficking (1-4). Investigators consider E-cadherin an active suppressor of invasion and growth of many epithelial cancers (1-3). Research studies indicate that cancer cells have upregulated N-cadherin in addition to loss of E-cadherin. This change in cadherin expression is called the "cadherin switch." N-cadherin cooperates with the FGF receptor, leading to overexpression of MMP-9 and cellular invasion (3). Research studies have shown that in endothelial cells, VE-cadherin signaling, expression, and localization correlate with vascular permeability and tumor angiogenesis (5,6). Investigators have also demonstrated that expression of P-cadherin, which is normally present in epithelial cells, is also altered in ovarian and other human cancers (7,8).