A 1.8-GHz radiofrequency radiation induces EGF receptor clustering and phosphorylation in cultured human amniotic (FL) cells

Int J Radiat Biol. 2012 Mar;88(3):239-44. doi: 10.3109/09553002.2011.634882. Epub 2011 Nov 18.


Purpose: Many studies have shown that exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RFR) could activate cellular signal transduction pathways. In the present research, we investigated the effects of exposure to a 1.8-GHz RFR at different intensities on epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor clustering and phosphorylation in human amniotic (FL) cells.

Materials and methods: Receptor clustering on cellular membrane surface was analyzed using immunofluorescence assessed by confocal microscopy, and phosphorylation of EGF receptors was measured by western blot technology. EGF treatment served as a positive control.

Results: The results showed that, compared with sham exposure, exposure to RFR at specific absorption rate (SAR) of 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, or 4.0 W/kg for 15 min significantly induced EGF receptor clustering and enhanced phosphorylation on the tyrosine-1173 residue in FL cells, whereas exposure to a SAR 0.1 W/kg radiation for 15 min did not cause a significant effect.

Conclusion: Based on the results of this experiment, we conclude that membrane receptors could be one of the main targets that RFR interacts with cells, and the dose-rate threshold, in the case of EGF receptors, is between SAR of 0.1 and 0.5 W/kg. The results indicate a sigmoid dependence of RFR effects on intensity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amniotic Fluid / cytology*
  • Amniotic Fluid / metabolism
  • Amniotic Fluid / radiation effects
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / radiation effects
  • Cell Phone
  • Cells, Cultured
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Phosphorylation / radiation effects
  • Protein Transport / radiation effects
  • Radio Waves / adverse effects*


  • ErbB Receptors