Expression and purification of the human tumor suppressor protein RNASET2 in CHO-S cells

Protein Expr Purif. 2020 Oct:174:105675. doi: 10.1016/j.pep.2020.105675. Epub 2020 May 23.


Members of the T2 extracellular ribonucleases family have long been reported as stress response proteins, often involved in host defence, in many different taxonomic groups. In particular, the human RNASET2 protein (hRNASET2) has been reported as an extracellular tumor suppressor protein, endowed with the ability to act as an "alarmin" signalling molecule following its expression and secretion in the tumor microenvironment by cancer cells and the subsequent recruitment and activation of cells belonging to the host innate immune system. Many in vitro and in vivo assays have been recently reported in support of the oncosuppressive role of hRNASET2: most of them relied on genetically engineered cell lines and the use of recombinant proteins from non-mammalian sources. In order to ensure a human-like glycosylation pattern, here we report for the first time the expression of recombinant hRNASET2 in the CHO-S cell line. We established a simple one-step chromatographic purification procedure that resulted in the production of 5 mg of endotoxin-free hRNASET2 per liter of culture, with a >95% purity degree. hRNASET2 expressed in CHO-S cells displayed a high degree of glycosylation homogeneity and a secondary structure content in agreement with that determined from the crystal structure. Indeed, recombinant hRNASET2 was active at both enzymatic and functional level, as stated by a biological activity assay. The availability of a pure, homogeneous recombinant human RNASET2 would provide a key tool to better investigate its non cell-autonomous roles in the context of cancer development and growth.

Keywords: Macrophage polarization; Protein expression; RNASET2; Recombinant CHO cells; Ribonuclease activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CHO Cells
  • Cricetulus
  • Gene Expression*
  • Glycosylation
  • Humans
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Ribonucleases* / biosynthesis
  • Ribonucleases* / genetics
  • Ribonucleases* / isolation & purification
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins* / biosynthesis
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins* / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins* / isolation & purification


  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Ribonucleases
  • RNASET2 protein, human