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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 321653, 19 pages
Review Article

Pleiotropic Cellular Functions of PARP1 in Longevity and Aging: Genome Maintenance Meets Inflammation

Molecular Toxicology Group, Department of Biology, University of Konstanz, 78457 Konstanz, Germany

Received 1 June 2012; Accepted 25 July 2012

Academic Editor: Paula Ludovico

Copyright © 2012 Aswin Mangerich and Alexander Bürkle. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aging is a multifactorial process that depends on diverse molecular and cellular mechanisms, such as genome maintenance and inflammation. The nuclear enzyme poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1), which catalyzes the synthesis of the biopolymer poly(ADP-ribose), exhibits an essential role in both processes. On the one hand, PARP1 serves as a genomic caretaker as it participates in chromatin remodelling, DNA repair, telomere maintenance, resolution of replicative stress, and cell cycle control. On the other hand, PARP1 acts as a mediator of inflammation due to its function as a regulator of NF-κB and other transcription factors and its potential to induce cell death. Consequently, PARP1 represents an interesting player in several aging mechanisms and is discussed as a longevity assurance factor on the one hand and an aging-promoting factor on the other hand. Here, we review the molecular mechanisms underlying the various roles of PARP1 in longevity and aging with special emphasis on cellular studies and we briefly discuss the results in the context of in vivo studies in mice and humans.