Life on Earth is constantly exposed to natural electromagnetic fields (EMFs), and it is generally accepted that EMFs may exert a variety of effects on biological systems. Particularly, extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (EL-EMFs) affect biological processes such as cell development and differentiation; however, the fundamental mechanisms by which EMFs influence these processes remain unclear. Here we show that EMF exposure induces epigenetic changes that promote efficient somatic cell reprogramming to pluripotency. These epigenetic changes resulted from EMF-induced activation of the histone lysine methyltransferase Mll2. Remarkably, an EMF-free system that eliminates Earth's naturally occurring magnetic field abrogates these epigenetic changes, resulting in a failure to undergo reprogramming. Therefore, our results reveal that EMF directly regulates dynamic epigenetic changes through Mll2, providing an efficient tool for epigenetic reprogramming including the acquisition of pluripotency.
Keywords: cell reprogramming; electromagnetic fields; epigenetic changes.