Poly(ADP-ribosylation) is a post-translational modification of proteins playing a crucial role in many processes, including DNA repair and cell death. The best known poly(ADP-ribosylating) enzyme, PARP-1, is a DNA nick sensor and uses betaNAD(+) to form polymers of ADP-ribose which are further bound to nuclear protein acceptors. To strictly regulate poly(ADP-ribose) turnover, its degradation is assured by the enzyme poly(ADP-ribose) glycohydrolase (PARG). During apoptosis, PARP-1 plays two opposite roles: its stimulation leads to poly(ADP-ribose) synthesis, whereas caspases cause PARP-1 cleavage and inactivation. PARP-1 proteolysis produces an 89 kDa C-terminal fragment, with a reduced catalytic activity, and a 24 kDa N-terminal peptide, which retains the DNA binding domains. The fate and the possible role of these fragments during apoptosis will be discussed.