Author(s): Rabbow E, Rettberg P, BaumstarkKhan C, Horneck G
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Abstract In the 21st century, an increasing number of astronauts will visit the International Space Station (ISS) for prolonged times. Therefore it is of utmost importance to provide necessary basic knowledge concerning risks to their health and their ability to work on the station and during extravehicular activities (EVA) in free space. It is the aim of one experiment of the German project TRIPLE-LUX (to be flown on the ISS) to provide an estimation of health risk resulting from exposure of the astronauts to the radiation in space inside the station as well as during extravehicular activities on one hand, and of exposure of astronauts to unavoidable or as yet unknown ISS-environmental genotoxic substances on the other. The project will (i) provide increased knowledge of the biological action of space radiation and enzymatic repair of DNA damage, (ii) uncover cellular mechanisms of synergistic interaction of microgravity and space radiation and (iii) examine the space craft milieu with highly specific biosensors. For these investigations, the bacterial biosensor SOS-LUX-LAC-FLUORO-Toxicity-test will be used, combining the SOS-LUX-Test invented at DLR Germany (Patent) with the commercially available LAC-FLUORO-Test. The SOS-LUX-Test comprises genetically modified bacteria transformed with the pBR322-derived plasmid pPLS-1. This plasmid carries the promoterless lux operon of Photobacterium leiognathi as a reporter element under control of the DNA-damage dependent SOS promoter of ColD as sensor element. This system reacts to radiation and other agents that induce DNA damages with a dose dependent measurable emission of bioluminescence of the transformed bacteria. The analogous LAC-FLUORO-Test has been developed for the detection of cellular responses to cytotoxins. It is based on the constitutive expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP) mediated by the bacterial protein expression vector pGFPuv (Clontech, Palo Alto, USA). In response to cytotoxic agents, this system reacts with a dose-dependent reduction of GFP-fluorescence. Currently, a fully automated miniaturized hardware system for the bacterial set up, which includes measurements of luminescence and fluorescence or absorption and the image analysis based evaluation is under development. During the first mission of the SOS-LUX-LAC-FLUORO-Toxicity-Test on the ISS, a standardized, DNA-damaging radiation source still to be determined will be used as a genotoxic inducer. A panel of recombinant Salmonella typhimurium strains carrying either the SOS-LUX plasmid or the fluorescence-mediating lac-GFPuv plasmid will be used to determine in parallel on one microplate the genotoxic and the cytotoxic action of the applied radiation in combination with microgravity. Either in addition to or in place of the fluorometric measurements of the cytotoxic agents, photometric measurements will simultaneously monitor cell growth, giving additional data on survival of the cells. The obtained data will be available on line during the TRIPLE-LUX mission time. Though it is the main goal during the TRIPLE-LUX mission to measure the radiation effect in microgravity, the SOS-LUX-LAC-FLUORO-Toxicity-test in principle is also applicable as a biomonitor for the detection and measurement of genotoxic substances in air or in the (recycled) water system on the ISS or on earth in general. c2003 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Adv Space Res
and referenced in Journal of Biosensors & Bioelectronics