New insights of poly(ADP-ribosylation) in neurodegenerative diseases: A focus on protein phase separation and pathologic aggregation

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Graphical abstractAbnormal protein aggregation is a common pathological feature of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), Huntington’s disease (HD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Protein posttranslational modifications (PTMs) play a crucial regulatory role in the formation of pathologic aggregation. Among the known PTMs involved in neurodegeneration, poly(ADP-ribosylation) (PARylation) has emerged with promising therapeutic potentials of the use of poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors. In this review, we describe the mounting evidence that abnormal PARP activation is involved in various neurodegenerative diseases, and discuss the underpinning mechanisms with a focus on the recent findings that PARylation affects liquid-liquid phase separation and aggregation of amyloid proteins. We hope this review will stimulate further investigation of the unknown functions of PARylation and promote the development of more effective therapeutic agents in treating neurodegeneration.

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