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Recent Developments on the Role of Mitochondria in Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerase Inhibition

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Numerous pathophysiological disorders involve some element of oxidative stress and bioenergetic deficit. Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) inhibitors have been used recently as a promising new therapeutic strategy aimed at halting the bioenergetic decline associated with oxidative brain insults and other conditions. PARP-1 uses NAD+ as a substrate and is activated during stressful circumstances, mainly in the nucleus. PARP-1 inhibitors are well known for blocking the excessive consumption of NAD+, thereby preserving energy metabolism. But what is the role of mitochondria in this process? Recent investigations have begun to focus on whether mitochondrial function can also be preserved by PARP-1 inhibitors. This review will present some of the latest mechanistic evidence documenting the potential involvement of PARP-1 inhibitors in protecting mitochondrial function and preventing necrosis, apoptosis and mitochondrial calcium cycling.

Keywords: mitochondria; nicotinamide; poly(adp-ribose) polymerase

Document Type: Review Article


Affiliations: USC School of Pharmacy, 1985 Zonal Avenue, PSC 508, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA.

Publication date: December 1, 2003

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.

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