There is increasing evidence that oxidative damage and free radicals, with sequelae of altered cellular energetics and protein alterations, are important in the initiation, promotion, invasion, metastasis, and treatment of cancers. Moreover, oxidative damage and free radicals also are implicated in the side effects of normal tissue injury following cancer therapy, including chemotherapy, radiafion, and biological modifiers. The Free Radical Biology in Cancer Shared Resource Facility (FRBC SRF) was established to provide expertise in and analyses of free radicals, cellular energetics, and reactive species, as well as proteomics in cancer and cancer biology for Markey Cancer Center (MCC) investigators who perform basic, pre-clinical, and clinical research. The four basic services provided by the FRBC SRF are: 1) Analysis of markers of oxidative and nitrosative stress;2) Molecular biological manipulation of biological systems with which to investigate redox signals, including measurements of mitochondrial function by Seahorse technology;3) Proteomics identification of differentially expressed, differentially oxidized, or differentially covalently modified proteins in various cancer-related systems;4) Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) detection of free radicals. Development of new applications and methodology for better understanding of the roles of free radicals in cancer and cancer chemotherapy and technical assistance with grant and manuscript preparation by MCC investigators will also be provided. Included in these functions of the considerable expertise of the FRBC SRF Technical Advisory Committee to educate MCC investigators on proper sample handling and preparation methods so that reliable, precise, and artifact-free assay results are obtained. Multiple investigators from all four research programs of the MCC (Redox Injury and Repair [RR];Cancer Cell Biology and Signaling [CS];Cancer Prevention and Control [CP];and Drug Discovery, Delivery and Translational Therapeutics [DT]) have used one or more services of the FRBC SRF. Indeed, even as a relatively new shared resource, the FRBC SRF still had usage by 26% of MCC investigators.
Damaging free radicals are produced by cancers and with various cancer treatments. When cells are damaged, evidence of free radical-induced oxidative or nitrosative stress becomes apparent. The Free Radical Biology in Cancer Shared Resource Facility addresses these issues for members of the MCC by determining markers of oxidative stress, measuring oxidative stress-mediated mitochondrial dysfunction using Seahorse technology, and identifying aberrant cellular proteins using proteomics.
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