PARP-2 is a member of the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase family, with some activities similar to those of PARP-1 but with other distinct roles. Two series of isoquinolin-1-ones were designed, synthesized, and evaluated as selective inhibitors of PARP-2, using the structures of the catalytic sites of the isoforms. A new efficient synthesis of 5-aminoisoquinolin-1-one was developed, and acylation with acyl chlorides gave 5-acylaminoisoquinolin-1-ones. By examination of isoquinolin-1-ones with carboxylates tethered to the 5-position, Heck coupling of 5-iodoisoquinolin-1-one furnished the 5-CH═CHCO2H compound for reduction to the 5-propanoic acid. Alkylation of 5-aminoisoquinolin-1-one under mildly basic conditions, followed by hydrolysis, gave 5-(carboxymethylamino)isoquinolin-1-one, whereas it was alkylated at 2-N with methyl propenoate and strong base. Compounds were assayed in vitro for inhibition of PARP-1 and PARP-2, using FlashPlate and solution-phase assays, respectively. The 5-benzamidoisoquinolin-1-ones were more selective for inhibition of PARP-2, whereas the 5-(ω-carboxyalkyl)isoquinolin-1-ones were less so. 5-Benzamidoisoquinolin-1-one is the most PARP-2-selective compound (IC50(PARP-1)/IC50(PARP-2) = 9.3) to date, in a comparative study.