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Biochemistry. 1987 Jun 2;26(11):3218-24.

Characterization of polymers of adenosine diphosphate ribose generated in vitro and in vivo.


Methods have been developed and applied to determine the size and branching frequency of polymers of ADP-ribose synthesized in nucleotide-permeable cultured mouse cells and in intact cultured cells. Polymers were purified by affinity chromatography with a boronate resin and were fractionated according to size molecular sieve high-performance liquid chromatography. Fractions were enzymatically digested to nucleotides, which were separated by strong anion exchange high-performance liquid chromatography. From these data, average polymer size and branching frequency were calculated. A wide range of polymer sizes was observed. Polymers as large as 190 residues with at least five points of branching per molecule were generated in vitro. Polymers of up to 67 residues containing up to two points of branching per molecule were isolated from intact cells following treatment with the DNA alkylating agent N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine. Cells treated with hyperthermia prior to DNA damage contained polymers of an average maximum size of 244 residues containing up to six points of branching per molecule. The detection of large polymers of ADP-ribose in intact cells suggests that alterations in chromatin organization effected by poly(ADP-ribosylation) may extend beyond the covalently modified proteins and very likely involve noncovalent interactions of poly(ADP-ribose) with other components of chromatin.

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