The effect of electromagnetic field exposure on the formation of DNA lesions.
Redox Rep. 2000;5(5):299-301. PMID: 11145105
Departamento de Biofísica e Biometria, Instituto de Biologia Roberto Alcantara Gomes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
In an attempt to determine whether electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure might lead to DNA damage, we exposed SnCl2-treated pBR322 plasmids to EMF and analysed the resulting conformational changes using agarose gel electrophoresis. An EMF-dependent potentiation of DNA scission (i.e. the appearance of relaxed plasmids) was observed. In confirmation of this, plasmids pre-exposed to EMF also were less capable of transforming Escherichia coli. The results indicate that EMF, in the presence of a transition metal, is capable of causing DNA damage. These observations support the idea that EMF, probably through secondary generation of reactive oxygen species, can be clastogenic and provide a possible explanation for the observed correlation between EMF exposure and the frequency of certain types of cancers in humans.