Role of Poly [ADP-ribose] Polymerase 1 in Activating the Kirstenras (KRAS) Gene in Response to Oxidative Stress

Giorgio Cinque, Annalisa Ferino, Erik B. Pedersen, Luigi E. Xodo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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In pancreatic Panc-1 cancer cells, an increase of oxidative stress enhances the level of 7,8-dihydro-8-oxoguanine (8OG) more in the KRAS promoter region containing G4 motifs than in non-G4 motif G-rich genomic regions. We found that H2O2 stimulates the recruitment to the KRAS promoter of poly [ADP-ribose] polymerase 1 (PARP-1), which efficiently binds to local G4 structures. Upon binding to G4 DNA, PARP-1 undergoes auto PARylation and thus becomes negatively charged. In our view this should favor the recruitment to the KRAS promoter of MAZ and hnRNP A1, as these two nuclear factors, because of their isoelectric points >7, are cationic in nature under physiological conditions. This is indeed supported by pulldown assays which showed that PARP-1, MAZ, and hnRNP A1 form a multiprotein complex with an oligonucleotide mimicking the KRAS G4 structure. Our data suggest that an increase of oxidative stress in Panc-1 cells activates a ROS-G4-PARP-1 axis that stimulates the transcription of KRAS. This mechanism is confirmed by the finding that when PARP-1 is silenced by siRNA or auto PARylation is inhibited by Veliparib, the expression of KRAS is downregulated. When Panc-1 cells are treated with H2O2 instead, a strong up-regulation of KRAS transcription is observed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6237
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number17
Pages (from-to)22
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • 8-oxoguanine
  • G4 DNA
  • KRAS
  • oxidative stress
  • PARP-1
  • transcription factors
  • transcription regulation
  • Oxidative stress
  • Transcription factors
  • Transcription regulation

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