Enabling drug discovery for the PARP protein family through the detection of mono-ADP-ribosylation

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Graphical abstractPoly-ADP-ribose polymerases (PARPs) are a family of enzymes responsible for transferring individual or chains of ADP-ribose subunits to substrate targets as a type of post-translational modification. PARPs regulate a wide variety of important cellular processes, ranging from DNA damage repair to antiviral response. However, most research to date has focused primarily on the polyPARPs, which catalyze the formation of ADP-ribose polymer chains, while the monoPARPs, which transfer individual ADP-ribose monomers, have not been studied as thoroughly. This is partially due to the lack of robust assays to measure mono-ADP-ribosylation in the cell. In this study, the recently developed MAR/PAR antibody has been shown to detect mono-ADP-ribosylation in cells, enabling the field to investigate the function and therapeutic potential of monoPARPs. In this study, the antibody was used in conjunction with engineered cell lines that overexpress various PARPs to establish a panel of assays to evaluate the potencies of literature-reported PARP inhibitors. These assays should be generally applicable to other PARP family members for future compound screening efforts. A convenient and generalizable workflow to identify and validate PARP substrates has been established. As an initial demonstration, aryl hydrocarbon receptor was verified as a direct PARP7 substrate and other novel substrates for this enzyme were also identified and validated. This workflow takes advantage of commercially available detection reagents and conventional mass spectrometry instrumentation and methods. Ultimately, these assays and methods will help drive research in the PARP field and benefit future therapeutics development.

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