Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Microwave radiation can alter protein conformation without bulk heating. med./bio.

Published in: FEBS Lett 2003; 543 (1-3): 93-97

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study whether prolonged microwave exposure can directly affect protein conformation in vitro (because protein conformational changes are associated with a group of human diseases, the amyloidpathies), and whether this might underlie the observed induction of heat shock protein expression.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 1 GHz
Exposure duration: continuous for 3-48 h
  • power: 0.5 W
  • SAR: 20 mW/kg (15-20 mW/kg)

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 1 GHz
Exposure duration continuous for 3-48 h
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup exposed plates placed centrally on the waveguide of the TEM cell
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power 0.5 W - - - -
SAR 20 mW/kg - calculated - 15-20 mW/kg

Reference articles

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Microwave exposure enhances the aggregation of bovine serum albumin in a time- and temperature-dependent manner. Microwave irradiation also promotes amyloid fibril formation by bovine insulin at 60°C. These changes in protein conformation are not accompanied by measurable temperature changes. Limited denaturation of cellular proteins could explain previous observation (publication 4466) that modest heat-shock responses are induced by microwave exposure in Caenorhabditis elegans. It is also shown that heat-shock responses both to heat and microwaves are suppressed after RNA interference ablating heat-shock transcription factor function.

Study character:

Study funded by

Related articles