Non-cancer effects of low-dose radiation
Epidemiological studies suggest that doses of ionizing radiation much lower than previously assumed may cause adverse effects on human health. However, the epidemiological approach to validating health hazards of low-dose ionizing radiation may not be sensitive enough to detect weak biological effects, nor will it give information about the biological mechanisms of these effects. There is a need for a new approach to study biological effects of radiation on cells, tissues and organisms at all dose ranges and at the low-dose range in particular.
High-throughput screening techniques have been developing in recent years with a breathtaking speed. Proteomics today is a mature technological tool that can provide us with novel information about the biochemical mechanisms that regulate physiology of the cell.
The main focus of the Radiation Proteomics Group is the evaluation of genetic and epigenetic modifiers of cellular and tissue / organ response at low doses and low dose rates of ionizing radiation. The biological responses are measured as changes in the protein expression by classical gel-based methods (1D-PAGE, 2D-PAGE), gel-free methods (LC/MS-MS) and MALDI imaging. To quantify the changes between the radiation-exposed and sham-exposed samples different labelling approaches (DIGE, ICPL, SILAC) or label-free proteomics are used. The candidate pathways involved in the radiation response are tested by using cellular and genetically modified mouse models. The research goals include the evaluation of both non-carcinogenic (cardiovascular) and carcinogenic endpoints.
The group is actively involved in the EURATOM projects CARDIORISK, PROCARDIO and CEREBRAD.