Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) is a chromatin-associated enzyme that is activated by DNA strand breaks and catalyzes the transfer of ADP-ribose groups from NAD to itself and other nuclear proteins. Although caspase-mediated PARP-1 cleavage occurs during almost all forms of apoptosis, the contribution of PARP-1 activation and cleavage to this cell death process remains unclear. Using immortalized fibroblasts from wild-type (PARP-1+/+) and PARP-1 knockout (PARP-1-/-) mice, and a mouse neuroblastoma cell line (N18), the role that poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation plays in Sindbis virus (SV)-induced apoptosis was examined. Robust PARP-1 activation occurred in SV-infected cells prior to morphologic changes associated with apoptotic cell death and PARP-1 activity ceased simultaneously with caspase-3 activation and PARP-1 proteolysis. PARP-1 activity was maximal before detectable DNA fragmentation, but was absent when DNA damage was most intense. SV and staurosporine-induced cell death was delayed in fibroblasts lacking PARP-1 activity, suggesting that PARP-1 activation contributes to apoptotic cell death induced by these stimuli. SV replication was not affected by lack of PARP-1 activity, but DNA fragmentation and caspase-3 activation were delayed and occurred at lower levels in PARP-1-deficient fibroblasts. Early virus-induced PARP-1 activation may represent a novel way by which cells signal to the nucleus to regulate protein function by poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation in response to virus infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas