Research Papers:

PARP1 is required for preserving telomeric integrity but is dispensable for A-NHEJ

Adam Harvey, Nicholas Mielke, Julia W. Grimstead, Rhiannon E. Jones, Thanh Nguyen, Matthew Mueller, Duncan M. Baird and Eric A. Hendrickson _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:34821-34837. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.26201

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Adam Harvey1, Nicholas Mielke1, Julia W. Grimstead2, Rhiannon E. Jones2, Thanh Nguyen1, Matthew Mueller1, Duncan M. Baird2,* and Eric A. Hendrickson1,*

1Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA

2Division of Cancer and Genetics, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XN, United Kingdom

*Co-senior authors

Correspondence to:

Eric A. Hendrickson, email: [email protected]

Keywords: PARP1; gene editing; NHEJ; HDR; telomeres

Received: July 22, 2018     Accepted: September 15, 2018     Published: October 05, 2018


Poly-ADP ribose polymerase 1 (PARP1) is clinically important because of its synthetic lethality with breast cancer allele 1 and 2 mutations, which are causative for inherited breast and ovarian cancers. Biochemically, PARP1 is a single-stranded DNA break repair protein that is needed for preserving genomic integrity. In addition, PARP1 has been implicated in a veritable plethora of additional cellular pathways and thus its precise contribution(s) to human biology has remained obscure. To help address this deficiency, we utilized gene editing to construct genetically-null PARP1 human cancer cells. We found a minor role for PARP1 in an alternative form of DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair, but only when these cells were deficient for the classical form of DSB repair. Despite being proficient for DSB repair, however, cell cycle progression defects and elevated endogenous DNA damage signaling were observed. These deficiencies were instead linked to telomere defects, where PARP1-/- cells had short telomeres that co-localized with markers of endogenous DNA damage and were compromised in their ability to escape a telomere-driven crisis. Our data suggest that while PARP1 does not participate significantly in DNA DSB repair itself, it does prevent the incidence of telomeric DSBs, which, in turn, can drive genomic instability.

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