Serine ADP-ribosylation (ADPr) is a DNA damage-induced post-translational modification. It is catalyzed by the PARP1/2:HPF1 complex. The study identifies a biochemical function for nucleosome serine ADPr.
Serine ADP-ribosylation (ADPr) is a DNA damage-induced post-translational modification catalyzed by the PARP1/2:HPF1 complex. As the list of PARP1/2:HPF1 substrates continues to expand, there is a need for technologies to prepare mono- and poly-ADP-ribosylated proteins for biochemical interrogation. Here we investigate the unique peptide ADPr activities catalyzed by PARP1 in the absence and presence of HPF1. We then exploit these activities to develop a method that facilitates installation of ADP-ribose polymers onto full-length proteins with precise control over chain length and modification site. A series of semi-synthetic ADP-ribosylated histone proteins are prepared which demonstrate that ADPr at H2BS6 or H3S10 converts nucleosomes into robust substrates for the chromatin remodeler ALC1. Importantly, we found ALC1 selectively remodels "activated" substrates within heterogeneous nucleosome populations and that nucleosome serine ADPr is sufficient to stimulate ALC1 activity in nuclear extracts. Our study identifies a biochemical function for nucleosome serine ADPr and describes a method that is broadly applicable to explore the impact that site-specific serine mono- and poly-ADPr have on protein function.