Millimeter waves alter gene transcription in keratinocytes. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Additive Effects of Millimeter Waves and 2-Deoxyglucose Co-Exposure on the Human Keratinocyte Transcriptome.
PLoS One. 2016 ;11(8):e0160810. Epub 2016 Aug 16. PMID: 27529420
Yonis Soubere Mahamoud
Millimeter Waves (MMW) will be used in the next-generation of high-speed wireless technologies, especially in future Ultra-Broadband small cells in 5G cellular networks. Therefore, their biocompatibilities must be evaluated prior to their massive deployment. Using a microarray-based approach, we analyzed modifications to the whole genome of a human keratinocyte model that was exposed at 60.4 GHz-MMW at an incident power density (IPD) of 20 mW/cm2 for 3 hours in athermic conditions. No keratinocyte transcriptome modifications were observed. We tested the effects of MMWs on cell metabolism by co-treating MMW-exposed cells with a glycolysis inhibitor, 2-deoxyglucose (2dG, 20 mM for 3 hours), and whole genome expression was evaluated along with the ATP content. We found that the 2dG treatment decreased the cellular ATP content and induced a high modification in the transcriptome (632 coding genes). The affected genes were associated with transcriptional repression, cellular communication and endoplasmic reticulum homeostasis. The MMW/2dG co-treatment did not alter the keratinocyte ATP content, but it did slightly alter the transcriptome, which reflected the capacity of MMW to interfere with the bioenergetic stress response. The RT-PCR-based validation confirmed 6 MMW-sensitive genes (SOCS3, SPRY2, TRIB1, FAM46A, CSRNP1 and PPP1R15A) during the 2dG treatment. These 6 genes encoded transcription factors or inhibitors of cytokine pathways, which raised questions regarding the potential impact of long-term or chronic MMW exposure on metabolically stressed cells.