Functions of ADP-ribose transferases in the maintenance of telomere integrity

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2022 Mar 29;79(4):215. doi: 10.1007/s00018-022-04235-z.


The ADP-ribose transferase (ART) family comprises 17 enzymes that catalyze mono- or poly-ADP-ribosylation, a post-translational modification of proteins. Present in all subcellular compartments, ARTs are implicated in a growing number of biological processes including DNA repair, replication, transcription regulation, intra- and extra-cellular signaling, viral infection and cell death. Five members of the family, PARP1, PARP2, PARP3, tankyrase 1 and tankyrase 2 are mainly described for their crucial functions in the maintenance of genome stability. It is well established that the most describedrole of PARP1, 2 and 3 is the repair of DNA lesions while tankyrases 1 and 2 are crucial for maintaining the integrity of telomeres. Telomeres, nucleoprotein complexes located at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes, utilize their unique structure and associated set of proteins to orchestrate the mechanisms necessary for their own protection and replication. While the functions of tankyrases 1 and 2 at telomeres are well known, several studies have also brought PARP1, 2 and 3 to the forefront of telomere protection. The singular quality of the telomeric environment has highlighted protein interactions and molecular pathways distinct from those described throughout the genome. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the current knowledge on the multiple roles of PARP1, PARP2, PARP3, tankyrase 1 and tankyrase 2 in the maintenance and preservation of telomere integrity.

Keywords: ART; Genome stability; PARP; Telomeres.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • ADP Ribose Transferases* / metabolism
  • Adenosine Diphosphate Ribose / metabolism
  • DNA Repair
  • Genomic Instability
  • Humans
  • Telomere* / genetics
  • Telomere* / metabolism


  • Adenosine Diphosphate Ribose
  • ADP Ribose Transferases