Poly(ADP-ribose) drives pathologic a-synuclein neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease

Tae In Kam, Xiaobo Mao, Hyejin Park, Shih Ching Chou, Senthilkumar S. Karuppagounder, George Essien Umanah, Seung Pil Yun, Saurav Brahmachari, Nikhil Panicker, Rong Chen, Shaida A Andrabi, Chen Qi, Guy G. Poirier, Olga Pletnikova, Juan C. Troncoso, Lynn M. Bekris, James B. Leverenz, Alexander Pantelyat, Han Seok Ko, Liana S. RosenthalTed M. Dawson, Valina L. Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


The pathologic accumulation and aggregation of a-synuclein (a-syn) underlies Parkinson’s disease (PD). The molecular mechanisms by which pathologic a-syn causes neurodegeneration in PD are not known. Here, we found that pathologic a-syn activates poly(adenosine 5′-diphosphate–ribose) (PAR) polymerase-1 (PARP-1), and PAR generation accelerates the formation of pathologic a-syn, resulting in cell death via parthanatos. PARP inhibitors or genetic deletion of PARP-1 prevented pathologic a-syn toxicity. In a feed-forward loop, PAR converted pathologic a-syn to a more toxic strain. PAR levels were increased in the cerebrospinal fluid and brains of patients with PD, suggesting that PARP activation plays a role in PD pathogenesis. Thus, strategies aimed at inhibiting PARP-1 activation could hold promise as a disease-modifying therapy to prevent the loss of dopamine neurons in PD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereaat8407
Issue number6414
StatePublished - Nov 2 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Poly(ADP-ribose) drives pathologic a-synuclein neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this