Poly ADP-ribose polymerases (PARPs) catalyze massive protein poly ADP-ribosylation (PARylation) within seconds after the induction of DNA single- or double-strand breaks. PARylation occurs at or near the sites of DNA damage and promotes the recruitment of DNA repair factors via their poly ADP-ribose (PAR) binding domains. Several novel PAR-binding domains have been recently identified. Here, we summarize these and other recent findings suggesting that PARylation may be the critical event that mediates the first wave of the DNA damage response. We also discuss the potential for functional crosstalk with other DNA damage-induced post-translational modifications.
© The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.