Effects of Global System for Mobile Communications 1800 MHz radiofrequency electromagnetic fields on gene and protein expression in MCF-7 cells

Authors

  • Qunli Zeng,

    1. Bioelectromagnetics Laboratory, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China
    2. Research Center for Environmental Genomics, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China
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    • These two authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Guangdi Chen,

    1. Bioelectromagnetics Laboratory, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China
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    • These two authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Yu Weng,

    1. Bioelectromagnetics Laboratory, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China
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  • Lingli Wang,

    1. Bioelectromagnetics Laboratory, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China
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  • Huai Chiang,

    1. Bioelectromagnetics Laboratory, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China
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  • Deqiang Lu,

    1. Bioelectromagnetics Laboratory, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China
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  • Zhengping Xu Professor

    Corresponding author
    1. Bioelectromagnetics Laboratory, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China
    2. Research Center for Environmental Genomics, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China
    • Bioelectromagnetics Laboratory, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, 353 Yan-an Road, Hangzhou 310031, China Fax: +86-571-87217410
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Abstract

Despite many studies over a decade, it still remains ambiguous as to the real biological effects induced by radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF EMF) utilized in mobile telephony. Here we investigated global gene and protein responses to RF EMF simulating the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) 1800 MHz signal in human breast cancer cell line MCF-7 using genomic and proteomic approaches. GeneChip analysis identified a handful of consistent changed genes after exposure to RF EMF at specific absorption rates (SAR) of up to 3.5 W/kg for 24 h. However, these differentially transcribed genes could not be further confirmed by real-time RT-PCR assay. Meanwhile, systematic proteome analysis of the MCF-7 cells revealed that a few but different proteins were differentially expressed under continuous or intermittent RF EMF exposure at SAR of 3.5 W/kg for 24 h or less, implying that the observed effects might have occurred by chance. Overall, the present study does not provide convincing evidence that RF EMF exposure under current experimental conditions can produce distinct effects on gene and protein expression in the MCF-7 cells.

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