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Mol Neurobiol. 2012 Aug;46(1):78-84. doi: 10.1007/s12035-012-8258-9. Epub 2012 Mar 20.

Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 in amyloid beta toxicity and Alzheimer's disease.

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Department of Cellular Signaling, Mossakowski Medical Research Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland.


Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) is a key enzyme responsible for the maintenance of genome stability, transcriptional regulation, and long-term potentiation in neurons. However, the excessive activation of PARP-1 under pathological conditions may lead to an accumulation of poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR), a novel signaling molecule that induces programmed cell death, or to NAD depletion that induces energy crisis and necrotic cell death. PARP-1 is thought to be primarily a nuclear enzyme, but some data indicate that it can also be localized to the mitochondria where it is responsible for posttranslational modification of electron transport chain complexes and alteration of mitochondria function. The enhancement of PARP-1 activity and the accumulation of PAR were demonstrated in the brain of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), particularly in neurons of the frontal and temporal lobes and in skin fibroblasts and lymphoblasts. Moreover, it has been reported that PARP-1 gene polymorphisms are highly associated with the development of AD. The activation of PARP-1 by oxidative stress seems to be an early and important event in the pathogenesis of AD. It is now widely accepted that the overproduction and oligomerization of amyloid β (Aβ) are responsible for the activation of a free radical cascade and oxidative stress in AD. Interestingly, the activity of PARP-1 is enhanced in AD and is also increased by Aβ peptides. The activation of PARP-1 by Aβ can lead to the PAR-mediated release of apoptosis-inducing factor from the mitochondria and its translocation to the nucleus, which leads to death of some populations of cells. A role of PARP-1 in the regulation of Aβ precursor protein metabolism processing and Aβ liberation has not been described previously. The study presented in this review indicated the relationship between PARP-1 activation, alteration of mitochondria function, and Aβ toxicity. The presented data should stimulate further studies on the role of PARP-1 in AD pathogenesis and thereby engage a new perspective regarding AD therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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