Effect of zinc on cellular poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation capacity

Andrea Kunzmann, George Dedoussis, Jolanta Jajte, Marco Malavolta, Eugenio Mocchegiani, Alexander Bürkle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation is a posttranslational protein modification, which is catalyzed by poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) and plays a role in DNA repair and maintenance of genomic stability. A decrease in cellular poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation has been implicated in the aging process. As PARP-1 is a zinc finger protein its decreased function might be related to age-related zinc deficiency. To test this hypothesis we assessed cellular poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation capacity in 29 donors from Greece, Italy and Poland as function of age and nutritional zinc status. Our results reveal a positive correlation between cellular poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation capacity and zinc status in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) (p <0.05). We could also confirm a decrease of PARP-1 activity with donor age, highlighting the role of poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation in the aging process. The results demonstrate that zinc supplementation in elderly people can increase the cellular poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation capacity of their PBMC. We speculate that this may help maintain integrity and stability of the genome more efficiently and thus contribute to an extension of healthspan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-414
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Gerontology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2008


  • Aging
  • PARP-1
  • Poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation capacity
  • Zinc supplementation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Medicine(all)


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