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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1997 Apr 17;233(2):518-22.

Apoptosis in the absence of poly-(ADP-ribose) polymerase.

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Department of Molecular Toxicology, University of Konstanz, Germany.


Cleavage of poly-(ADP-ribose) polymerase is a process occurring early during the execution phase of apoptosis. Although in many experimental systems PARP cleavage indicates a point of no return, the significance of this proteolytic step for apoptosis remains unclear. Here we compare the susceptibility of cells from wild-type mice and PARP-/- mice to several inducers of apoptosis. Neither the susceptibility of hepatocytes towards CD95 or TNF-mediated apoptosis nor the activation of PARP-cleaving caspases was modified in PARP-/- liver cells. Thymocytes with either genotype exhibited similar sensitivity to treatments with ceramide, dexamethasone, or etoposide. The sensitivity of primary neurons towards apoptosis induced by staurosporine, colchicine, potassium withdrawal, peroxynitrite, or the neurotoxin MPP+ was also unaltered. These data suggest that neither activation nor cleavage of PARP has a causal role in apoptotic cell death of primary, non-transformed cells.

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