We show that RNAPII pauses at PARP1–chromatin structures within the gene body. Knockdown of PARP1 abolishes this RNAPII pausing, suggesting that PARP1 may regulate RNAPII elongation. Additionally, PARP1 alters nucleosome deposition and histone post-translational modifications at specific exon–intron boundaries, thereby affecting RNAPII movement. Lastly, genome-wide analyses confirmed that PARP1 influences changes in RNAPII elongation by either reducing or increasing the rate of RNAPII elongation depending on the chromatin context.

These studies suggest a context-specific effect of PARP1–chromatin binding on RNA polymerase movement and provide a platform to delineate PARP1’s role in RNA biogenesis and processing.