Poly ADP ribose polymerase

Poly ADP ribose polymerase

Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) is a family of proteins involved in a number of cellular processes involving mainly DNA repair and programmed cell death.


Members of PARP family

The PARP family comprises 17 members (10 putative). They have all very different structures and functions in the cell.

  • PARP1, PARP2, VPARP (PARP4), Tankyrase-1 and -2 (PARP-5a or TNKS, and PARP-5b or TNKS2) have a confirmed PARP activity.

PARP Structure

PARP is composed of four domains of interest: a DNA-binding domain, a caspase-cleaved domain(see below), an auto-modification domain, and a catalytic domain. The DNA-binding domain is composed of two zinc finger motifs. In the presence of damaged DNA (base pair-excised), the DNA-binding domain will bind the DNA and induce a conformational shift. It has been shown that this binding occurs independent of the other domains. This is integral in a programmed cell death model based on Caspase cleavage inhibition of PARP. The auto-modification domain is responsible for releasing the protein from the DNA after catalysis. Also, it plays an integral role in cleavage-induced inactivation.


PARP is found in the cell’s nucleus, the main role is to detect and signal single strand DNA breaks (SSB) to the enzymatic machinery involved in the SSB repair. PARP activation is an immediate cellular response to metabolic, chemical, or radiation-induced DNA SSB damage. Once PARP detects a SSB it binds to the DNA, and, after a structural change, begin the synthesis of a poly(ADP-ribose)chain (PAR)as a signal for the other DNA repairing enzymes such as DNA ligase III (LigIII), DNA polymerase beta (polβ) and scaffolding proteins such as x-ray cross complementing gene 1 (XRCC1). After repairing, the PAR chains are degraded via PAR glycohydrolase (PARG).[1]

Interestingly, NAD+ is required as substrate for generating ADP-ribose monomers. The overactivation of PARP may deplete the stores of cellular NAD+ and induce a progressive ATP depletion, since glucose oxidation is inhibited, and necrotic cell death. In this regard, PARP is inactivated by caspase-3 cleavage (in a specific domain of the enzyme) during programmed cell death.

PARP enzymes are essential in a number of cellular functions[2] , including expression of inflammatory genes[3]: PARP1 is required for the induction of ICAM-1 gene expression by smooth muscle cells, in response to TNF[4].


The catalytic domain is responsible for Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerization. This domain has a highly conserved motif that is common to all members of the PARP family. PAR polymer can reach lengths up to 200 bp before inducing apoptotic processes. The formation of PAR polymer is similar to the formation of DNA polymer from nucleoside triphosphates. Normal DNA synthesis requires that a pyrophosphate act as the leaving group, leaving a single phosphate group linking ribose sugars. PAR is synthesized using nicotinamide (NAM) as the leaving group. This leaves a pyrophosphate as the linking group between ribose sugars rather than single phosphate groups. This creates some special bulk to a PAR bridge, which may have an additional role in cell signaling.

Role in repairing DNA nicks

One important function of PARP is assisting in the repair of single-strand DNA nicks. It binds sites with single-strand breaks through its N-terminal zinc fingers and will recruit XRCC1, DNA ligase III, DNA polymerase beta, and a kinase to the nick. This is called base excision repair (BER). PARP-2 has been shown to oligomerize with PARP-1 and, therefore, is also implicated in BER. The oligomerization has also been shown to stimulate PARP catalytic activity. PARP-1 is also known for its role in transcription through remodeling of chromatin by PARylating histones and relaxing chromatin structure, thus allowing transcription complex to access genes.

Role of tankyrases

The tankyrases are PARPs that comprise ankyrin repeats, oligomerization domain (SAM), and a PARP catalytic domain (PCD). Tankyrases are also known as PARP-5a and PARP-5b. They were named for their interaction with the telomere-associated TRF1 proteins and ankyrin repeats. They may allow the removal of telomerase-inhibiting complexes from chromosome ends to allow for telomere maintenance. Through their SAM domain and ANKs they can oligomerize and interact with many other proteins, such as TRF1, TAB182 (TNKS1BP1), GRB14, IRAP, NuMa, EBNA-1, and Mcl-1. They have multiple roles in the cell, vesicular trafficking through its interaction in GLUT4 vesicle (GSVs) with insulin-responsive amino peptidase (IRAP). It also plays a role in spindle assembly through its interaction with nuclear mitotic apparatus (NuMa), therefore allowing bipolarity. In the absence of TNKs mitosis arrest is observed in pre-anaphase through Mad2 kinetochore checkpoint. TNKs can also PARsylate Mcl-1L and Mcl-1S and inhibit both their pro- and anti-apoptotic function. Relevance of this is not yet known. However this could cause extreme pain.

Role in cell death

Upon DNA cleavage by enzymes involved in cell death (such as caspases), PARP can deplete the ATP of a cell in an attempt to repair the damaged DNA. ATP depletion in a cell leads to lysis and cell death. PARP also has the ability to directly induce apoptosis, via the production of PAR, which stimulates mitochondria to release AIF. This mechanism appears to be caspase-independent.[5]

Role in Epigenetic DNA modification

PARP-mediated post-translational modification of proteins such as CTCF can affect the amount of DNA methylation at CpG dinucleotides. This regulates the insulator features of CTCF can differentially mark the copy of DNA inherited from either the maternal or the paternal DNA through the process known as genomic imprinting. PARP has also been proposed to affect the amount of DNA methylation by directly binding to the DNA methyltransferase DNMT-1 after attaching poly ADP-ribose chains to itself after interaction with CTCF and affecting DNMT1's enzymatic activity .

PARP Inactivation

PARP is inactivated by caspase cleavage. It is believed that normal inactivation occurs in systems where DNA damage is extensive. In these cases, more energy would be invested in repairing damage than is feasible, so that energy is instead retrieved for other cells in the tissue through programmed cell death.

While in vitro cleavage by caspase occurs throughout the caspase family, preliminary data suggest that caspase-3 and caspase-7 are responsible for in vivo cleavage. Cleavage occurs at aspartic acid 214 and glycine 215, separating PARP into a 24kDA and 89kDA segment. The smaller moiety includes the zinc finger motif requisite in DNA binding. The 89 kDa fragment includes the auto-modification domain and catalytic domain. The putative mechanism of PCD activation via PARP inactivation relies on the separation of the DNA-binding region and the auto-modification domain. The DNA-binding region is capable of doing so independent of the rest of the protein, cleaved or not. It is unable, however, to dissociate without the auto-modification domain. In this way, the DNA-binding domain will attach to a damaged site and be unable to effect repair, as it no longer has the catalytic domain. The DNA-binding domain prevents other, non-cleaved PARP from accessing the damaged site and initiating repairs. This model suggests that this “sugar plug” can also begin the signal for apoptosis.

See also


  1. ^ "Investigation of PARP-1, PARP-2, and PARG interactomes by affinity-purification mass spectrometry.". Proteome Sci. ;8:22.. 2010 Apr 13. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20388209. 
  2. ^ Piskunova TS, Yurova MN, Ovsyannikov AI, Semenchenko AV, Zabezhinski MA, Popovich IG, Wang ZQ, Anisimov VN. (2008). "Deficiency in Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerase-1 (PARP-1) Accelerates Aging and Spontaneous Carcinogenesis in Mice". Curr Gerontol Geriatr Res. 2008: 754190. doi:10.1155/2008/754190. PMC 2672038. PMID 19415146. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=2672038. 
  3. ^ Espinoza LA, Smulson ME, Chen Z (2007). "Prolonged poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 activity regulates JP-8-induced sustained cytokine expression in alveolar macrophages.". Free radical biology & medicine 42 (9): 1430–40. doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2007.01.043. PMID 17395016. 
  4. ^ Zerfaoui M, Suzuki Y, Naura AS, Hans CP, Nichols C, Boulares AH. (Jan 2008). "Nuclear translocation of p65 NF-kappaB is sufficient for VCAM-1, but not ICAM-1, expression in TNF-stimulated smooth muscle cells: Differential requirement for PARP-1 expression and interaction". Cell Signal 20 (1): 186–94. doi:10.1016/j.cellsig.2007.10.007. PMC 2278030. PMID 17993261. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=2278030. 
  5. ^ Yu S.-W., Andrabi S. A., Wang H., Kim N. S., Poirier G. G., Dawson T. M., Dawson V. L. (2006). "Apoptosis-inducing factor mediates poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) polymer-induced cell death". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 103: 18314–18319. doi:10.1073/pnas.0606528103. 

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