Parp1 activation in mouse embryonic fibroblasts promotes Pol β-dependent cellular hypersensitivity to alkylation damage

Elena Jelezcova, Ram N. Trivedi, Xiao hong Wang, Jiang bo Tang, Ashley R. Brown, Eva M. Goellner, Sandy Schamus, Jamie L. Fornsaglio, Robert W. Sobol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Alkylating agents induce cell death in wild-type (WT) mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) by multiple mechanisms, including apoptosis, autophagy and necrosis. DNA polymerase β (Pol β) knockout (KO) MEFs are hypersensitive to the cytotoxic effect of alkylating agents, as compared to WT MEFs. To test the hypothesis that Parp1 is preferentially activated by methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) exposure of Pol β KO MEFs, we have examined the relationship between Pol β expression, Parp1 activation and cell survival following MMS exposure in a series of WT and Pol β deficient MEF cell lines. Consistent with our hypothesis, we observed elevated Parp1 activation in Pol β KO MEFs as compared to matched WT MEFs. Both the MMS-induced activation of Parp1 and the MMS-induced cytotoxicity of Pol β KO MEFs are attenuated by pre-treatment with the Parp1/Parp2 inhibitor PJ34. Further, elevated Parp1 activation is observed following knockdown (KD) of endogenous Pol β, as compared to WT cells. Pol β KD MEFs are hypersensitive to MMS and both the MMS-induced hypersensitivity and Parp1 activation is prevented by pre-treatment with PJ34. In addition, the MMS-induced cellular sensitivity of Pol β KO MEFs is reversed when Parp1 is also deleted (Pol β/Parp1 double KO MEFs) and we observe no MMS sensitivity differential between Pol β/Parp1 double KO MEFs and those that express recombinant mouse Pol β. These studies suggest that Parp1 may function as a sensor of BER to initiate cell death when BER is aborted or fails. Parp1 may therefore function in BER as a tumor suppressor by initiating cell death and preventing the accumulation of cells with chromosomal damage due to a BER defect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-67
Number of pages11
JournalMutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010


  • Alkylating agents
  • Base excision repair
  • DNA glycosylase
  • DNA polymerase beta
  • Parp1
  • RNAi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Parp1 activation in mouse embryonic fibroblasts promotes Pol β-dependent cellular hypersensitivity to alkylation damage'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this