Histone shuttling by poly ADP-ribosylation

Mol Cell Biochem. 1994 Sep;138(1-2):53-9. doi: 10.1007/BF00928443.


The enzymes poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase and poly(ADP-ribose) glycohydrolase may cooperate to drive a histone shuttle mechanism in chromatin. The mechanism is triggered by binding of the N-terminal zinc-finger domain of the polymerase to DNA strand breaks, which activates the catalytic activities residing in the C-terminal domain. The polymerase converts into a protein carrying multiple ADP-ribose polymers which displace histones from DNA by specifically targeting the histone tails responsible for DNA condensation. As a result, the domains surrounding DNA strand breaks become accessible to other proteins. Poly(ADP-ribose)glycohydrolase attacks ADP-ribose polymers in a specific order and thereby releases histones for reassociation with DNA. Increasing evidence from different model systems suggests that histone shuttling participates in DNA repair in vivo as a catalyst for nucleosomal unfolding.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA / metabolism*
  • Glycoside Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Poly Adenosine Diphosphate Ribose / metabolism*
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases / metabolism


  • Histones
  • Poly Adenosine Diphosphate Ribose
  • DNA
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases
  • Glycoside Hydrolases
  • poly ADP-ribose glycohydrolase