Dr. Buettner’s research focuses on the flow of electrons through chemical, biochemical, and biological systems and the consequences of changing the current in different biological circuits. In mitochondria electrons flow through a high flux circuit efficiently producing ATP, and H2O (respiration); however, some do not flow to dioxygen, rather just to NAD+ (glycolysis). Of special interest is the flow of electrons into the many low flux biochemical circuits that partially reduce dioxygen producing superoxide and hydrogen peroxide. Understanding quantitatively the elements of these circuits (e.g. antioxidants, redox enzymes, and proteins) and how they dictate the fundamental biology of cells and tissues and overall health of organisms is the primary goal. Using this information to improve human health is the ultimate reward.
Calculated cell-specific intracellular hydrogen peroxide concentration: Relevance in cancer cell susceptibility during ascorbate therapy