The Controversial Roles of ADP-Ribosyl Hydrolases MACROD1, MACROD2 and TARG1 in Carcinogenesis

Karla Feijs, Christopher Cooper, Roko Žaja

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Post-translational modifications (PTM) of proteins are crucial for fine-tuning a cell’s response to both intracellular and extracellular cues. ADP-ribosylation is a PTM, which occurs in two flavours: modification of a target with multiple ADP-ribose moieties (poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation or PARylation) or with only one unit (MARylation), which are added by the different enzymes of the PARP family (also known as the ARTD family). PARylation has been relatively well-studied, particularly in the DNA damage response. This has resulted in the development of PARP inhibitors such as olaparib, which are increasingly employed in cancer chemotherapeutic approaches. Despite the fact that the majority of PARP enzymes catalyse MARylation, MARylation is not as well understood as PARylation. MARylation is a dynamic process: the enzymes reversing intracellular MARylation of acidic amino acids (MACROD1, MACROD2, and TARG1) were discovered in 2013. Since then, however, little information has been published about their physiological function. MACROD1, MACROD2, and TARG1 have a ‘macrodomain’ harbouring the catalytic site, but no other domains have been identified. Despite the lack of information regarding their cellular roles, there are a number of studies linking them to cancer. However, some of these publications oppose each other, some rely on poorly-characterised antibodies, or on aberrant localisation of overexpressed rather than native protein. In this review, we critically assess the available literature on a role for the hydrolases in cancer and find that, currently, there is limited evidence for a role for MACROD1, MACROD2, or TARG1 in tumorigenesis.
Original languageEnglish
Article number604
Number of pages17
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2020


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