Poly(adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerase: the distribution of a chromosome-associated enzyme within the chromatin substructure

Biochemistry. 1977 Feb 8;16(3):506-13. doi: 10.1021/bi00622a026.


The distribution of a chromatin-bound, nuclear protein modifying enzyme, poly (adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerase, and its product, poly(ADP-ribose), among various fractions of sheared and nuclease-digested HeLa cell chromatin has been examined. Epichlorohydrin-tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane-cellulose and glycerol gradient fractionation of solubilized chromatin indicated that poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase activity was associated primarily with the template active regions (euchromatin), whereas the transcriptionally inert chromatin fractions were found to contain relatively low levels of ADP-ribosylating activity. When isolated HeLa cell nuclei were digested in situ with micrococcal nuclease and the resultant chromatin was fractionated into nucleosome monomers (v bodies) and oligomers by sucrose gradient centrifugation, only material sedimenting faster than the 11S monomers was found to contain appreciable poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase activity. If, on the other hand, isolated HeLa cell nuclei were first incubated with labeled NAD, the substrate for poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase, prior to the preparation and fractionation of nuclease-digested chromatin, it was found that those chromatin fractions which possess significant poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase activity (nucleosome oligomers) are relatively deficient in the labeled product of this enzyme, and that a considerable portion of the homopolymeric product is ultimately associated with the 11S v bodies. Additional evidence is presented which indicates that the absence of nucleosome monomer-associated poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase activity is not due to the absence of a suitable acceptor on these structures, and that the activity of this enzyme within the chromatin is most probably dependent upon the physical integrity of the oligomeric structures themselves.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Nucleus / enzymology
  • Chromatin / enzymology*
  • HeLa Cells / enzymology
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Molecular Weight
  • NAD+ Nucleosidase / metabolism*
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases / isolation & purification
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases / metabolism*


  • Chromatin
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases
  • NAD+ Nucleosidase