An Overview of Sub-Cellular Mechanisms Involved in the Action of TTFields


" .. Biological effects at intermediate frequencies between 100 and 300 kHz have been recently discovered and applied to cancer cells as a therapeutic modality called Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) ... We conclude that the most likely candidates to provide a quantitative explanation of these effects are ionic condensation waves around microtubules as well as dielectrophoretic effects on the dipole moments of microtubules. A less likely possibility is the involvement of actin filaments or ion channels."

The cytoskeleton and especially, MTs, may participate in numerous interactions with electromagnetic forces due to the complex charge distribution in and around these protein filaments surrounded by poly-ionic solutions. First of all, there are large net charges on tubulin, which are largely but not completely screened by counter-ions. Secondly, some of the charges are localized on C-termini, which are very flexible leading to oscillating charge configurations. Then, there are ions surrounding the protein that can be partially condensed and susceptible to collective oscillations. Moreover, there are large dipole moments on tubulin and microtubules whose geometric organization importantly affects their response to external fields. Finally, there can be induced dipole moments especially in the presence of electric field gradients.


Last modified on 28-Feb-17

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