PARP-1, a determinant of cell survival in response to DNA damage

Exp Hematol. 2003 Jun;31(6):446-54. doi: 10.1016/s0301-472x(03)00083-3.


Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) plays a primary role in the process of poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation. This posttranslational modification of nuclear proteins is activated in response to DNA damage. Having been studied for more than 30 years, PARP-1 is now known to be implicated in several crucial cellular processes: DNA replication, transcription, DNA repair, apoptosis, and genome stability. In this review, we focus on recent findings suggesting that PARP-1 participates in DNA damage signaling in cell death. Of clinical relevance is its role in cancer therapy, irradiation, and chemotherapy, all of which may cause DNA damage and overactivate PARP-1, resulting in inflammation caused by necrosis. Therefore, we will discuss how inhibition of PARP-1 may enhance the efficiency of cancer therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Survival
  • DNA Damage*
  • DNA Repair
  • Humans
  • Poly (ADP-Ribose) Polymerase-1
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases
  • Proteins / physiology*


  • Proteins
  • PARP1 protein, human
  • Poly (ADP-Ribose) Polymerase-1
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases