Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

PARP inhibitors for cancer therapy

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Nicola CurtinORCiD


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP-1) is a zinc-finger DNA-binding enzyme that is activated by binding to DNA breaks. Poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation of nuclear proteins by PARP-1 converts DNA damage into intracellular signals that activate either DNA repair by the base-excision pathway or cell death. A family of 18 PARPs has been identified, but only the most abundant, PARP-1 and PARP-2, which are both nuclear enzymes, are activated by DNA damage. PARP inhibitors of ever-increasing potency have been developed in the 40 years since the discovery of PARP-1, both as tools for the investigation of PARP-1 function and as potential modulators of DNA-repair-mediated resistance to cytotoxic therapy. Owing to the high level of homology between the catalytic domains of PARP-1 and PARP-2, the inhibitors probably affect both enzymes. Convincing biochemical evidence, which has been corroborated by genetic manipulation of PARP-1 activity, shows that PARP inhibition is associated with increased sensitivity to DNA-alkylating agents, topoisomerase I poisons and ionising radiation. Novel PARP inhibitors of sufficient potency and suitable pharmacokinetic properties to allow evaluation in animal models have been shown to enhance the antitumour activity of temozolomide (a DNA-methylating agent), topoisomerase poisons and ionising radiation; indeed, the combination with temozolomide resulted in complete tumour regression in two independent studies. The combination of a PARP inhibitor and temozolomide is currently undergoing clinical evaluation for the first time.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Curtin NJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Expert Reviews in Molecular Medicine

Year: 2005

Volume: 7

Issue: 4

Pages: 1-20

ISSN (print): 1462-3994

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S146239940500904X

PubMed id: 15836799


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric