New insights into the molecular and cellular functions of poly(ADP-ribose) and PARPs

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2012 Jun 20;13(7):411-24. doi: 10.1038/nrm3376.


Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases (PARPs) are enzymes that transfer ADP-ribose groups to target proteins and thereby affect various nuclear and cytoplasmic processes. The activity of PARP family members, such as PARP1 and PARP2, is tied to cellular signalling pathways, and through poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation (PARylation) they ultimately promote changes in gene expression, RNA and protein abundance, and the location and activity of proteins that mediate signalling responses. PARPs act in a complex response network that is driven by the cellular, molecular and chemical biology of poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR). This PAR-dependent response network is crucial for a broad array of physiological and pathological responses and thus is a good target for chemical therapeutics for several diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Catalysis
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cherubism / metabolism
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Poly Adenosine Diphosphate Ribose / metabolism*
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases / metabolism*
  • Polymers / metabolism
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • RNA / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • Polymers
  • Poly Adenosine Diphosphate Ribose
  • RNA
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases