Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Mono-ADP-ribosylation is a post-translational modification that was discovered more than five decades ago, and it consists of the enzymatic transfer of ADP-ribose from NAD+ to acceptor proteins. In viruses and prokaryotes, mono-ADP-ribosylation is mainly, but not exclusively, a mechanism used to take control of the host cell. In mammals, mono-ADP-ribosylation serves to regulate protein functions, and it is catalysed by two families of toxin-related cellular ADP-ribosyltransferases: ecto-enzymes that modify various cell-surface proteins, like integrins and receptors, and intracellular enzymes that act on a variety of nuclear and cytosolic proteins. These two families have been recently renamed the ARTCs (clostridia toxin like) and ARTDs (diphtheria toxin like), depending on their conserved structural features, and in terms of their relationships to the bacterial toxins. In addition, two members of the structurally non-related sirtuin family can also modify cellular proteins by mono-ADP-ribosylation. Recently, new examples of ADP-ribosylation of proteins involved in signal transduction and intracellular trafficking have been discovered, thus opening the route to the better molecular understanding of this reaction and of its role in human cell physiology and pathology.