Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) is a nuclear enzyme that plays a critical role in diverse cellular functions, such as DNA damage detection and repair, transcriptional regulation and cell death. Furthermore, PARP-1 has emerged as a key player in the pathogenesis of multiple inflammatory diseases and has become a promising target for the treatment of cardiovascular disorders, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. An increasing body of evidence has linked alterations in the expression levels of PARP-1, enzymatic activity and presence of polymorphism to gastrointestinal malignancies, including oesophageal, gastric, pancreas, liver and colorectal cancers. PARP inhibition has been proposed as a valuable strategy for treating these gastrointestinal disorders. This paper summarises the most significant current literature on the involvement of PARP-1 in gastrointestinal cancer, focusing in particular on its role in the development and occurrence of tumours, providing information about clinical trials and exploring therapeutic possibilities.
Keywords: Biomarker, carcinogenesis, gastrointestinal cancer, PARP inhibitors, poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1), synthetic lethality.