Research Perspectives:

Molecular signature induced by RNASET2, a tumor antagonizing gene, in ovarian cancer cells

Francesco Acquati, Laura Monti, Marta Lualdi, Marco Fabbri, Maria Grazia Sacco, Laura Gribaldo and Roberto Taramelli _

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Oncotarget. 2011; 2:477-484. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.274

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Francesco Acquati1, Laura Monti1, Marta Lualdi1, Marco Fabbri2, Maria Grazia Sacco2, Laura Gribaldo2, and Roberto Taramelli1

1 Dipartimento di Biotecnologie e Scienze Molecolari, Università degli Studi dell'Insubria, via JH Dunant 3, 21100 Varese, Italy

2 European Commission - Joint Research Centre Institute for Health and Consumer Protection Molecular Biology and Genomics unit TP 464, Via E. Fermi, 2749 21027 Ispra (VA) - Italy

Keywords: RNases, cancer microenvironment, transcriptional profile

Received: May 10, 2011; Accepted: June 2, 2011; Published: June 4, 2011;


Roberto Taramelli, e-mail:

Francesco Acquati, e-mail:


As previously reported, using the Hey3Met2 human ovarian cancer cell line as an experimental model, we found the RNASET2 gene to possess a remarkable in vivo tumor suppressor activity,  although no in vitro features such as inhibition of cell proliferation, clonogenic potential, impaired growth in soft agar  and increase in apoptotic rate could be detected. This is reminiscent of the behaviour of genes belonging to the class of  tumor antagonizing genes (TAG) which are supposed to act mainly within the context of the microenvironment.  Although the principal function of RNASET2 is non cell autonomous, more cell centered effects could not be ruled out at the present time. To such goal we have carried out transcriptional profiles analysis which indicated, on one hand, that investigations of the mechanisms through which TAG carry out their biological functions require a thorough comparison between the in vitro and in vivo expression patterns. Indeed several genes displaying a biological function  potentially related to tumor suppression could not be  validated by subsequent in vivo expression analysis. On the other hand the fact that we could find congruency for  three genes both in vivo and in vitro adds a warning to a too much stringent categorisation of this class of genes which relies on the sensitivity of the methodological approach undertaken.

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