Analysis of poly(ADP-Ribose) polymerases in Arabidopsis telomere biology.
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Maintaining the length of the telomere tract at chromosome ends is a complex process vital to normal cell division. Telomere length is controlled through the action of telomerase as well as a cadre of telomere-associated proteins that facilitate replication of the chromosome end and protect it from eliciting a DNA damage response. In vertebrates, multiple poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases (PARPs) have been implicated in the regulation of telomere length, telomerase activity and chromosome end protection. Here we investigate the role of PARPs in plant telomere biology. We analyzed Arabidopsis thaliana mutants null for PARP1 and PARP2 as well as plants treated with the PARP competitive inhibitor 3-AB. Plants deficient in PARP were hypersensitive to genotoxic stress, and expression of PARP1 and PARP2 mRNA was elevated in response to MMS or zeocin treatment or by the loss of telomerase. Additionally, PARP1 mRNA was induced in parp2 mutants, and conversely, PARP2 mRNA was induced in parp1 mutants. PARP3 mRNA, by contrast, was elevated in both parp1 and parp2 mutants, but not in seedlings treated with 3-AB or zeocin. PARP mutants and 3-AB treated plants displayed robust telomerase activity, no significant changes in telomere length, and no end-to-end chromosome fusions. Although there remains a possibility that PARPs play a role in Arabidopsis telomere biology, these findings argue that the contribution is a minor one.