Send to

Choose Destination
Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2010 Aug;83(6):691-702. doi: 10.1007/s00420-010-0513-7. Epub 2010 Feb 10.

Increased protein synthesis by cells exposed to a 1,800-MHz radio-frequency mobile phone electromagnetic field, detected by proteome profiling.

Author information

Department Med.-1, Institute of Cancer Research, Medical University Vienna, Borschkegasse 8a, 1090 Vienna, Austria.



To investigate whether or not low intensity radio frequency electromagnetic field exposure (RF-EME) associated with mobile phone use can affect human cells, we used a sensitive proteome analysis method to study changes in protein synthesis in cultured human cells.


Four different cell kinds were exposed to 2 W/kg specific absorption rate in medium containing 35S-methionine/cysteine, and autoradiography of 2D gel spots was used to measure the increased synthesis of individual proteins.


While short-term RF-EME did not significantly alter the proteome, an 8-h exposure caused a significant increase in protein synthesis in Jurkat T-cells and human fibroblasts, and to a lesser extent in activated primary human mononuclear cells. Quiescent (metabolically inactive) mononuclear cells, did not detectably respond to RF-EME. Since RF exposure induced a temperature increase of less than 0.15 degrees C, we suggest that the observed cellular response is a so called "athermal" effect of RF-EME.


Our finding of an association between metabolic activity and the observed cellular reaction to low intensity RF-EME may reconcile conflicting results of previous studies. We further postulate that the observed increased protein synthesis reflects an increased rate of protein turnover stemming from protein folding problems caused by the interference of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields with hydrogen bonds. Our observations do not directly imply a health risk. However, vis-a-vis a synopsis of reports on cells stress and DNA breaks, after short and longer exposure, on active and inactive cells, our findings may contribute to the re-evaluation of previous reports.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center