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Int J Cancer. 2000 Apr 20;90(2):59-67.

Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase in DNA damage-response pathway: implications for radiation oncology.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Medicine, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, District of Columbia, USA.


Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) catalyzes the transfer of successive units of ADP-ribose moiety from NAD(+) covalently to itself and other nuclear acceptor proteins. PARP is a zinc finger-containing protein, allowing the enzyme to bind to either double- or single-strand DNA breaks without any apparent sequence preference. The catalytic activity of PARP is strictly dependent on the presence of strand breaks in DNA and is modulated by the level of automodification. Data from many studies show that PARP is involved in numerous biological functions, all of which are associated with the breaking and rejoining of DNA strands, and plays a pivotal role in DNA damage repair. Recent advances in apoptosis research identified PARP as one of the intracellular "death substrates" and demonstrated the involvement of polymerase in the execution of programmed cell death. This review summarizes the biological effects of PARP function that may have a potential for targeted sensitization of tumor cells to genotoxic agents and radiotherapy. Int. J. Cancer (Radiat. Oncol. Invest.) 90, 59-67 (2000).

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