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.
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