Protein ADP-ribosylation is a reversible post-translational modification (PTM) process that plays fundamental roles in cell signaling. The covalent attachment of ADP ribose polymers is executed by PAR polymerases (PARP) and it is essential for chromatin organization, DNA repair, cell cycle, transcription, and replication, among other critical cellular events. The process of PARylation or polyADP-ribosylation is dynamic and takes place across many tissues undergoing renewal and repair, but the molecular mechanisms regulating this PTM remain mostly unknown. Here, we introduce the use of the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea as a tractable model to study PARylation in the complexity of the adult body that is under constant renewal and is capable of regenerating damaged tissues. We identified the evolutionary conservation of PARP signaling that is expressed in planarian stem cells and differentiated tissues. We also demonstrate that Smed-PARP-3 homolog is required for proper regeneration of tissues in the anterior region of the animal. Furthermore, our results demonstrate, Smed-PARP-3(RNAi) disrupts the timely location of injury-induced cell death near the anterior facing wounds and also affects the regeneration of the central nervous system. Our work reveals novel roles for PARylation in large-scale regeneration and provides a simplified platform to investigate PARP signaling in the complexity of the adult body.
Keywords: PARP; apoptosis; neoblasts; planarians; regeneration; stem cells.