This article reports experimental results on the influence of low-power millimeter wave (MMW) radiation at 60 GHz on a set of stress-sensitive gene expression of molecular chaperones, namely clusterin (CLU) and HSP70, in a human brain cell line. Selection of the exposure frequency is determined by its near-future applications for the new broadband civil wireless communication systems including wireless local area networks (WLAN) for domestic and professional uses. Frequencies around 60 GHz are strongly attenuated in the earth's atmosphere and such radiations represent a new environmental factor. An exposure system operating in V-band (50-75 GHz) was developed for cell exposure. U-251 MG glial cell line was sham-exposed or exposed to MMW radiation for different durations (1-33 h) and two different power densities (5.4 microW/cm(2) or 0.54 mW/cm(2)). As gene expression is a multiple-step process, we analyzed chaperone proteins induction at different levels. First, using luciferase reporter gene, we investigated potential effect of MMWs on the activation of transcription factors (TFs) and gene promoter activity. Next, using RT-PCR and Western blot assays, we verified whether MMW exposure could alter RNA accumulation, translation, or protein stability. Experimental data demonstrated the absence of significant modifications in gene transcription, mRNA, and protein amount for the considered stress-sensitive genes for the exposure durations and power densities investigated. The main results of this study suggest that low-power 60 GHz radiation does not modify stress-sensitive gene expression of chaperone proteins.
(c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.