2.45 GHz radiofrequency fields alter gene expression in cultured human cells

Sanggyu Lee, Debra Johnson, K. Dunbar, Hui Dong, Xijin Ge, Yeong C. Kim, Claudia Wing, Nimanthi Jayathilaka, Nimmi Emmanuel, Chenn Q. Zhou, Howard L. Gerber, Charles C. Tseng, San Ming Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


The biological effect of radiofrequency (RF) fields remains controversial. We address this issue by examining whether RF fields can cause changes in gene expression. We used the pulsed RF fields at a frequency of 2.45 GHz that is commonly used in telecommunication to expose cultured human HL-60 cells. We used the serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) method to measure the RF effect on gene expression at the genome level. We observed that 221 genes altered their expression after a 2-h exposure. The number of affected genes increased to 759 after a 6-h exposure. Functional classification of the affected genes reveals that apoptosis-related genes were among the upregulated ones and the cell cycle genes among the downregulated ones. We observed no significant increase in the expression of heat shock genes. These results indicate that the RF fields at 2.45 GHz can alter gene expression in cultured human cells through non-thermal mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4829-4836
Number of pages8
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number21
StatePublished - Aug 29 2005


  • Biological effect
  • Gene expression
  • Radiofrequency
  • SAGE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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