Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2013

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Free Radical and Radiation Biology

First Advisor

Buettner, Garry R

Second Advisor

Cullen, Joseph J

First Committee Member

Cullen, Joseph J

Second Committee Member

Spitz, Douglas R

Third Committee Member

Goswami, Prabhat C

Fourth Committee Member

Burnett, Andrean L


With new insights on mechanism, there is renewed interest in the use of pharmacological ascorbate (AscH-) in cancer therapy. The generation of H2O2 with AscH- acting as an electron donor to O2 is central to AscH- -induced cytotoxicity. We hypothesized that catalytic manganoporphyrins (MnPs) would increase the rate of oxidation of AscH- thereby increasing the flux of H2O2, resulting in increased cytotoxicity. We tested three different MnPs: MnTBAP, MnT2EPyP, and MnT4MPyP, which represent a range of physicochemical and thermodynamic properties. Of the MnPs tested, MnT4MPyP had the greatest effect on increasing the rate of oxidation of AscH-, as seen by the concentration of ascorbate radical [Asc*-] and rate of oxygen consumption. MnPs and AscH-, when combined at concentrations that had minimal effects alone, synergistically increased the cytotoxicity as seen by decreased clonogenic survival in human pancreatic cancer cell lines. Catalase, but not superoxide dismutase, reversed the cytotoxicity of AscH- and MnP, consistent with an H2O2-mediated mechanism. In addition, there was a marked increase in the steady-state concentration of ascorbate radical upon the addition of MnPs to whole blood ex vivo from mice infused with ascorbate as well as from patients treated with pharmacologic ascorbate. The combination of MnT4MPyP with ascorbate inhibited in vivo tumor growth. We conclude that MnPs can increase the rate of oxidation of AscH-, leading to an increased flux of H2O2 resulting in increased ascorbate-induced cytotoxicity


Ascorbate, Free Radical and Radiation Biology, manganoporphyrins, oncology, pancreatic cancer


x, 107 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 94-107).


Copyright 2013 Malvika Rawal