, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 187-194

Role of PARP Under Stress Conditions: Cell Death or Protection?

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Abstract

A great deal of increasing evidence designs PARP as a multifunctional protein implicated in many cellular functions. Much interest is emerging to understand the precise mechanisms by which PARP mediates genome stabilization and protection against damage, as well as its involvement in cell death, either apoptotic or necrotic. Aside from the clearly established role of PARP hyperactivation in necrotic cell death, after excessive DNA damage and energy failure, it appears to be actively involved in the phenomenon of apoptosis. However, its exact role is still controversial. The identification of several enzymes sharing the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase catalytic domain (PARPs), but with different features and subcellular localization, has opened a new perspective in the field of poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation. The picture of the role of PARP in the control of cell homeostasis became even more complex after demonstration of its implication in the regulation of gene transcription. The notion that energy failure is the sole mechanism by which PARP promotes cell death is therefore under reevaluation.