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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1987 Mar;84(5):1286-9.

Poly(ADP-ribose) may signal changing metabolic conditions to the chromatin of mammalian cells.


In mammalian cells, NAD+ serves a dual role as a respiratory coenzyme and as a substrate for the posttranslational poly(ADP-ribose) modification of chromatin proteins, catalyzed by the nuclear enzyme poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase [NAD+ ADP-ribosyltransferase, EC]. Biological evidence strongly suggests that poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation modulates chromatin functions, although the precise molecular mechanisms involved have not yet been elucidated. Here we describe conditions for the rapid uptake of exogenously supplied NAD+ by living hepatocytes in primary monolayer culture. Raising the intracellular NAD+ concentration by 70% caused a 5-fold increase of chromatin-bound poly(ADP-ribose). We conclude that the constitutive level of posttranslational poly(ADP-ribose) modifications of chromatin proteins in mammalian cells is related to the availability of NAD+, which varies in different physiological and pathological states. We propose that poly-(ADP-ribose) may serve a hitherto unrecognized function by signaling altered metabolic conditions to the chromatin and thus modulate its functions in tune with changing metabolic states.

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