PARP1 is an abundant nuclear protein with many pleiotropic functions involved in epigenetic and transcriptional controls. Abundance of mRNA depends on the balance between synthesis and decay of a particular transcript. PARP1 binds RNA and its depletion results in increased expression of genes involved in nonsense-mediated decay, suggesting that PARP1 might be involved in mRNA stability. This is of interest considering RNA binding proteins play key roles in post-transcriptional processes in all eukaryotes. We tested the direct impact of PARP1 and PARylation on mRNA stability and decay. By measuring the half-lives of two PARP1-mRNA targets we found that the half-lives were significantly decreased in PARP1-depleted cells. PARP1 depletion impacted both the synthesis of nascent mRNA and the stability of mature mRNAs. PARylation impacted the production of nascent mRNA and the stability of mature mRNA, albeit to a lesser extent than PARP1 KD. PARylation enhanced the impact of PARP1 depletion. These studies provide the first direct comparative role of PARP1 and PARylation in RNA stability and decay, adding a new dimension as to how PARP1 regulates gene expression. These studies present a platform to begin to tease out the influence of PARP1 at each step of RNA biogenesis and decay to fine-tune gene expression.

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Published in Scientific Reports, v. 9, article no. 3722, p. 1-12.

© The Author(s) 2019

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We acknowledge the Markey Cancer Center’s Research Communications Office for manuscript editing and assistance with graphic design. This research was supported by grants from NSF MCB-1517986 (YNF-M) and NIH R01 ES024478 (YNF-M).

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All data needed to evaluate the conclusions in the paper are present in the paper and/or the Supplementary Materials. Additional data related to this paper may be requested from the authors.

Supplementary information accompanies this paper at https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-39969-7.

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