The nucleolus has been known for a long time to fulfill crucial functions in ribosome biogenesis, of which cancer cells can become addicted to in order to produce sufficient amounts of proteins for cell proliferation. Recently, the nucleolus has emerged as a central regulatory hub in many other cancer-relevant processes, including stress sensing, DNA damage response, cell cycle control, and proteostasis. This fostered the idea that nucleolar processes can be exploited in cancer therapy. Interestingly, a significant proportion of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1) molecules are localized in the nucleolus and PARP1 also plays crucial roles in many processes that are important in cancer biology, including genome maintenance, replication, transcription, and chromatin remodeling. Furthermore, during the last years, PARP1 came into focus in oncology since it represents a promising target of pharmacological PARP inhibitors in various types of cancers. Here, we provide an overview of our current understanding on the role of PARP1 in nucleolar functions and discuss potential implications in cancer biology and therapy.
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