CORE C: Bioenergetics Profiling Core Director: Craig Cano Beeson, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Drug Discovery and Biomedical Sciences Project Summary The primary goal of the Bioenergetics Profiling core facility is to support COBRE investigators in the characterization of metabolite fluxes related to cellular redox and primary energy metabolism ? the prevalent sources of both the primary and secondary cellular redox species. The facility provides access to traditional, `gold standard' techniques such as isotopomer, radiometric, and spectroscopic analyses. The core is also a development site for the Seahorse Biosciences extracellular flux (XF) fluorometric technology used to measure metabolic fluxes (i.e., oxygen consumption, CO2 and lactate extrusion) in real time using multiwell plates. The basic Seahorse XF applications enable high throughput metabolic measurements with small sample sizes that have transformed the utility of quantitative analyses of metabolic fluxes. Innovative adaptations of the XF technologies developed in the core facility are providing access to real time flux measurements of redox species in cells and tissues and, more importantly, the interrogation of bioenergetics pathways via use of pharmacological or genetic interventions. We have coordinated these recent strategic technological acquisitions into a core that provides analytical support for the efforts of the COBRE investigators and their collaborators while also extending the technology to suit new efforts and further enable measurements with improved translational potential. In the COBRE Phase I stage the core was known as the ?Metabolomics Core? that offered nascent Seahorse XF technology in addition to traditional single time-point quantification of metabolite concentrations via LC-MS or NMR techniques. As described below, these traditional metabolomics techniques were not as useful to the lead COBRE investigators as were the XF technologies, particularly as the latter technology advanced and traditional metabolomics has matured. Because traditional metabolomics analyses are now commercially available leading to cost reductions (much as academic DNA oligomer or peptide cores became obsolete), the metabolomics core has been renamed as the ?Bioenergetics Profiling Core? to reflect the XF services we have developed that best support our investigators, and for which there are no alternative external resources. Indeed, because XF technologies utilize living samples, it is unlikely they will be easily `out-sourced'.
Normal biology requires energy that is obtained from the controlled breakdown of nutrients to produce highly reactive molecules that are contained within organelles to protect the other cellular constituents ? one such organelle is the mitochondrion or ?power house? of the cell. The bioenergetics profiling core provides the best tools available to quantify the nutrient breakdown reactions, failures in protective roles that enable reactive species to be released, and the damage caused that can lead to disease or pathological states.
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