Mono-ADP-ribosylation is a posttranslational modification of proteins in which the ADP-ribose moiety of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide is transferred to an acceptor amino acid. Five mammalian ADP-ribosyltransferases (ART1–ART5) have been cloned and expression is restricted to tissues such as cardiac and skeletal muscle, leukocytes, brain, and testis. ART1 and ART2 are glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored ectoenzymes. ART5 appears not to be GPI-linked and may be secreted. In skeletal muscle and lymphocytes, ART1 modifies specific members of the integrin family of adhesion molecules, suggesting that ADP-ribosylation affects cell-matrix or cell-cell interactions. In lymphocytes, ADP-ribosylation of surface proteins is associated with changes in p56lck tyrosine kinase-mediated signaling. The catalytic sites of bacterial toxins and vertebrate transferases have conserved structural features, consistent with a common reaction mechanism. ADP-ribosylation can be reversed by ADP-ribosylarginine hydrolases, resulting in the regeneration of free arginine. Thus, an ADP-ribosylation cycle may play a regulatory role in vertebrate tissues.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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