Radiation and Free Radical Research Core


Director: Dr. Douglas R. Spitz


IRS Co-Director:  Dr. Prabhat C. Goswami

EPR Co-Director: Dr. Garry R. Buettner
AES Co-Director: Dr. Frederick E. Domann

 

Recent evidence indicates that oxidation/reduction (redox) reactions are disrupted in cancer vs. normal cells as well as by cancer therapy interventions and these biochemical alterations significantly contribute to outcomes in a host of human diseases. The goal of the Radiation and Free Radical Research Core (RFRRC) is to provide state of the art technologies to investigators studying the role of oxidative stress and redox biology as they relate to cancer biology and cancer therapy in order to aid in the development of novel biochemical rationales for improving cancer prevention and therapy as well as studying degenerative diseases associated with aging.

The Radiation and Free Radical Research Core focuses on providing state of the art technologies to investigators studying the role of oxidative stress and redox biology. There is growing evidence that oxidative stress and redox biology are critical determinants of cancer biology including the processes of initiation, promotion, and progression to malignancey as well as the prevention and treatment of cancer and degenerative diseases of aging. The RFRRC was established to provide easy access to free radical and radiation biology expertise, reagents, technologies, and analysis for investigators doing basic, pre-clinical, and clinical research. The RFRRC offers the following three basic services to the university community and to researchers and private companies across the country:

1) Ionizing Radiation Services (IRS) and phosphorimaging as well as cell cycle analytical tools critical to undertanding cellular responses to radio-chemo-therapy. These services include: whole body radiation; partial body radiation; dosimetry; autoradiography; chemilumenescent quatification; high dose and low dose rate radiation; and preclinical radiotherapy irradiations for aminal experiments as well as cell cycle analytical tools critical to undertanding cellular responses to radio-chemo-therapy. The x-ray source is capable of delivering filtered or unfiltered x-rays, with maximum x-ray energy of 300 kVp. The gamma ray source is capable of delivering low or high dose rates of monoenergetic (0.667 MeV) gamma radiation, the range being from 10-3200 cGy/minute.  Over the past several years the total doses to inanimate or animate objects have ranged from 5 cGy-13,000,000 cGy.  The x-ray and gamma-ray facilities have been used for total body or partial body irradiation of tumors in experimental mice, rats, dogs, as well as cancer or normal cell cultures grown in vitro.

IRS Rates: Policies and Chargeback to Investigators: The regular charges for non-UI members in the IRS are $60/h for the first hour and $15/h for each subsequent hour of a radiation experiment. There is a $60 minimum charge for each irradiation. These charges will be discounted 50% for UI members so it will be $30/h for the first hour and $7.50/h for each subsequent hour of a radiation experiment with a $30 minimum charge for each irradiation. The quality assurance tests, safety compliances, licensures, and dosimetry will all be provided free of charge to UI members. Use of the phosphorimager for autoradiography in radio-tracer experiments will be provided at the cost for the supplies specific for each project.

IRS Hours and Contact Information: Ionizing Radiation Services are available 8AM-5PM Monday through Friday (and at other times based on specific discussion with Drs. Spitz and Goswami). To set up an appointment, or if you have questions, please contact: Amanda Kalen at amanda-kalen@uiowa.edu.

2) Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (EPR) services as well as other detection methologies for measuring free radicals, singlet oxygen, nitric oxide and the array of related oxidants and oxidative damage products are available. The EPR facility assists users in the detection of: free radicals in systems that range from solids, solutions, cells, tissues and whole animals, nitric oxide and related metabolites including peroxynitrite, MDA/TBARS, indicators of lipid peroxidation that are detected with fluorescence spectroscopy, oxidation of fluorescent dyes as indicators of oxidation reactions in living cells, UV-Vis spectroscopy for kinetic studies of PhGPx, Cellular oxygen consumption for studying metabolic oxidations reactions, oxidative stress-indicators using HPLC: including DNA damage products, antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, precise cell volume measurements.

EPR Rates: The regular charges for non-UI members for use of the EPR instrumentation is $150/h.   For UI investigators (and other Regent institutions) the charge is $44/h;  if EPR staff runs the experiment the rate is $105/h.   Training for use of the instrumentation is arranged as needed. Investigators are responsible for the supplies specific to their experiment, but not for the quality assurance testing and maintenance supplies.  Other instrumentation in the ESR Facility are: 

EPR Hours and Contact Information:  Services are available 8AM-5PM Monday through Friday (and at other times based on specific discussion with Drs. Spitz and Buettner). To set up an appointment, or if you have questions, please contact: Brett Wagner at brett-wagner@uiowa.edu.

3) Antioxidant Enzyme Services (AES) to provide easy access to technologies for modifying and measuring molecules responsible for pro-oxidant formation, metabolism of reactive oxygen species, and mediators of redox biology including: anti-oxidant proteins/enzymes, small molecular weight cellular thiols and reductants, as well as redox mediated signaling and gene expression pathways governing growth, differentiation, and cell injury processes. These services include molecular biology reagents to transfect and infect cells with adenovirus and plasmid vectors that cause over expression of anti-oxidant proteins, providing QA on the levels of expression and enzymatic activity of cells, and QA to ensure that the desired stable integration or transient expression of various proteins has occurred as well as RTPCR analysis of SNPs and other genes of interest in free radical biology. Resources available through the AES include antibodies, cDNAs, cell lines, transgenic mice models, primers, and well characterized expression vectors. The AES works closely with other cores in this regard, including the Gene Transfer Vector Core and the DNA Core. Techniques include: measurement of thiols and antioxidant enzyme activity using activity assays, activity gels, spectrophotometric assays and HPLC assays; measurement of immunoreactive protein for antioxidant enzymes using western blotting; measurement of steady-state mRNA levels for antioxidant enzymes using northern and PCR analysis; determination of antioxidant enzyme gene copy number and gross chromosomal changes; transfection and characterization of cell lines expressing antioxidant enzyme sense and antisense cDNAs; maintain, distribute, and provide a repository for reagents used in the study of antioxidant proteins: i.e., antibodies, cDNAs, expression  vectors, RNAi reagents and cell lines; provide expertise and equipment for studying a range of O2 tensions from radiobiological hypoxia (<0.1% O2) to physiologically relevant tissue O2 tensions (4-6% O2) in tissue culture experiments measuring clonogenic cell survival.

The following enzyme assays are routinely available: copper-and zinc-containing superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD), manganese-containing superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione transferases (GSTs), glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), glutamylcysteine synthetase (GCS), glutathione reductase (GR), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), thioredoxin reductase (TRR), and glutathione peroxidases (GPx). Assays for the detection of prooxidant production in living cells (superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, lipid peroxidation products, etc.) are also be available. Antibodies, cDNA probes, transplatable human tumor xenograph models, will be provided. Services to measure glutathione/glutathione disulfide, thioredoxin/thioredoxin disulfide, glucose, ATP, lactate, NADP+/NADPH and NAD+/NADH are also available for monitoring oxidative metabolism. AES staff will carry out the proposed work or will advise the user and staff on how to perform and analyze the experiments.

AES Rates: The regular charges for non-UI members associated with the AES are $25/sample for most assays if the lab staff runs the experiment and $12.50/sample if the investigator provides the personnel to be trained by the facility to run the sample. The investigators are responsible for the supplies specific to their experiment but not for the quality assurance testing and maintenance of supplies, reagents, cell lines, and genetically manipulated animals. The charges are discounted 50% for UI members so it is typically $12.50/sample if the AES staff runs the experiment and $6.25/sample if the investigator provides the personnel to be trained by the facility to run the samples. All supply costs will also be discounted 50% for UI members.

AES Hours and Contact Information:  Services are available 8AM-5PM Monday through Friday (and at other times based on specific discussion with Drs. Spitz and Domann). To set up an appointment, or if you have questions, please contact Mike McCormick at michael-mccormick@uiowa.edu.