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Mitochondrial Protection By PARP Inhibition

Ferenc Gallyas Jr, Balazs Sumegi

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Inhibitors of the nuclear DNA damage sensor and signalling enzyme poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) have recently been introduced in the therapy of cancers deficient in double-strand DNA break repair systems, and ongoing clinical trials aim to extend their use from other forms of cancer non-responsive to conventional treatments. Additionally, PARP inhibitors were suggested to be repurposed for oxidative stress-associated non-oncological diseases resulting in a devastating outcome, or requiring acute treatment. Their well-documented mitochondria- and cytoprotective effects form the basis of PARP inhibitors’ therapeutic use for non-oncological diseases, yet can limit their efficacy in the treatment of cancers. A better understanding of the processes involved in their protective effects may improve the PARP inhibitors’ therapeutic potential in the non-oncological indications. To this end, we endeavoured to summarise the basic features regarding mitochondrial structure and function, review the major PARP activation-induced cellular processes leading to mitochondrial damage, and discuss the role of PARP inhibition-mediated mitochondrial protection in several oxidative stress-associated diseases.