Systems-wide Analysis of Serine ADP-Ribosylation Reveals Widespread Occurrence and Site-Specific Overlap with Phosphorylation

Cell Rep. 2018 Aug 28;24(9):2493-2505.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.07.083.


ADP-ribosylation (ADPr) is a reversible posttranslational modification involved in a range of cellular processes. Here, we report system-wide identification of serine ADPr in human cells upon oxidative stress. High-resolution mass spectrometry and unrestricted data processing confirm that serine residues are the major target of ADPr in HeLa cells. Proteome-wide analysis identifies 3,090 serine ADPr sites, with 97% of acceptor sites modulating more than 2-fold upon oxidative stress, while treatment with the poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor olaparib abrogates this induction. Serine ADPr predominantly targets nuclear proteins, while structural-predictive analyses reveal that serine ADPr preferentially targets disordered protein regions. The identified ADP-ribosylated serines significantly overlap with known phosphorylated serines, and large-scale phosphoproteomics analysis provides evidence for site-specific crosstalk between serine ADPr and phosphorylation. Collectively, we demonstrate that serine ADPr is a widespread modification and a major nuclear signaling response to oxidative stress, with a regulatory scope comparable to other extensive posttranslational modifications.

Keywords: ADP-ribosylation; ADPr; DNA damage; PARP inhibitor; PTM; mass spectrometry; oxidative stress; phosphorylation; post-translational modification; proteomics; serine ADP-ribosylation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ADP-Ribosylation / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Phosphorylation
  • Serine / metabolism*


  • Serine