Effects of Global System for Mobile Communications 1800 MHz Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields on Gene and Protein Expression in MCF-7 Cells

Proteomics. 2006 Sep;6(17):4732-8. doi: 10.1002/pmic.200600234.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / radiation effects*
  • Humans
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Radio Waves*


  • Proteins