Toward a unified nomenclature for mammalian ADP-ribosyltransferases

Trends Biochem Sci. 2010 Apr;35(4):208-19. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2009.12.003. Epub 2010 Jan 26.


ADP-ribosylation is a post-translational modification of proteins catalyzed by ADP-ribosyltransferases. It comprises the transfer of the ADP-ribose moiety from NAD+ to specific amino acid residues on substrate proteins or to ADP-ribose itself. Currently, 22 human genes encoding proteins that possess an ADP-ribosyltransferase catalytic domain are known. Recent structural and enzymological evidence of poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase (PARP) family members demonstrate that earlier proposed names and classifications of these proteins are no longer accurate. Here we summarize these new findings and propose a new consensus nomenclature for all ADP-ribosyltransferases (ARTs) based on the catalyzed reaction and on structural features. A unified nomenclature would facilitate communication between researchers both inside and outside the ADP-ribosylation field.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • ADP Ribose Transferases / chemistry
  • ADP Ribose Transferases / classification*
  • ADP Ribose Transferases / genetics
  • ADP Ribose Transferases / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Catalytic Domain / genetics
  • Catalytic Domain / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mammals* / genetics
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases / chemistry
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases / classification
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases / genetics
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases / metabolism
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Terminology as Topic*


  • ADP Ribose Transferases
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases