How the RM SRF Furthers Markey Science
The role of free radicals and altered metabolism is increasingly apparent in various aspects of cancer biology and cancer therapy. Analysis of the roles of free radicals in cancer biology requires the highly skilled ability to:
- Measure the damage induced by free radicals in various tissues, cells, and fluids associated with different cancers.
- Measure molecules responsible for free radical production, oxidant scavenging, and free radical damage.
- Use proteomics to identify proteins in tissues, cells, and fluids that have differential levels or have been oxidatively modified.
- Measure mitochondrial function, since mitochondria are a major source of free radicals in cells.
- Provide metabolic information about altered metabolites, enzymes, and pathways in cancer and following cancer treatments.
A fundamental cornerstone for the RM SRFs metabolomics component is stable-isotope labeling during the biological experiment, meaning experimental design must be integrated with analysis and informatics. Because of this, a simple fee-for-service model is unlikely to yield very useful results for cancer researchers, and metabolomics services are structured for extensive advising and collaboration.
Importantly, and unique to this region of the United States, the RM SRF is one of only a few cancer center-resident resources in the world with the knowledge and reagents necessary to provide the redox and metabolism services needed by MCC members. Personnel in the RM SRF are highly knowledgeable about free radicals, oxidative stress, metabolism, sample handling and preparation, and the advantages and limitations of each assay employed, including mitochondrial function, metabolomics, and proteomics.
The Resource Center for Stable Isotope-Resolved Metabolomics (RC-SIRM) is housed in the Center for Environmental and Systems Biochemistry (CESB).