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RNASET2 gene

ribonuclease T2

Normal Function

The RNASET2 gene provides instructions for making a protein called ribonuclease T2 (RNAse T2), which is abundant in the brain. Ribonucleases help break down RNA, a chemical cousin of DNA. Studies suggest that ribonuclease T2 may also be involved in other functions within cells, such as controlling the development of blood vessels (angiogenesis) and helping to prevent the growth of cancerous tumors. These potential roles of the protein are not well understood.

Health Conditions Related to Genetic Changes

RNAse T2-deficient leukoencephalopathy

At least 10 RNASET2 gene mutations have been identified in people with RNAse T2-deficient leukoencephalopathy. This disorder involves brain abnormalities leading to neurological problems that become apparent during infancy, affecting intellectual ability and the development of motor skills such as sitting and crawling.

The RNASET2 gene mutations that cause RNAse T2-deficient leukoencephalopathy result in loss of ribonuclease T2 protein function. It is unknown how loss of this protein results in the brain abnormalities and neurological problems characteristic of RNAse T2-deficient leukoencephalopathy. Researchers have noted that the signs and symptoms of RNAse T2-deficient leukoencephalopathy are similar to those resulting from infection by a particular virus, called cytomegalovirus (CMV), when it is transmitted to a fetus during pregnancy (congenital CMV). They are seeking to understand how the viral infection, or the body's response to it, and the loss of ribonuclease T2 function could have similar effects on the developing brain. It is thought that both may be related to changes in angiogenesis or an immune system response to RNA that has not been properly broken down.

More About This Health Condition

Other Names for This Gene

  • bA514O12.3
  • FLJ10907
  • ribonuclease 6
  • ribonuclease T2 precursor

Additional Information & Resources

Tests Listed in the Genetic Testing Registry

Scientific Articles on PubMed

Catalog of Genes and Diseases from OMIM

Gene and Variant Databases


  • Campomenosi P, Salis S, Lindqvist C, Mariani D, Nordstrom T, Acquati F, Taramelli R. Characterization of RNASET2, the first human member of the Rh/T2/S family of glycoproteins. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2006 May 15;449(1-2):17-26. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2006 Mar 13. Citation on PubMed
  • Henneke M, Diekmann S, Ohlenbusch A, Kaiser J, Engelbrecht V, Kohlschutter A, Kratzner R, Madruga-Garrido M, Mayer M, Opitz L, Rodriguez D, Ruschendorf F, Schumacher J, Thiele H, Thoms S, Steinfeld R, Nurnberg P, Gartner J. RNASET2-deficient cystic leukoencephalopathy resembles congenital cytomegalovirus brain infection. Nat Genet. 2009 Jul;41(7):773-5. doi: 10.1038/ng.398. Epub 2009 Jun 14. Citation on PubMed
  • Luhtala N, Parker R. T2 Family ribonucleases: ancient enzymes with diverse roles. Trends Biochem Sci. 2010 May;35(5):253-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2010.02.002. Epub 2010 Feb 26. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • Tonduti D, Orcesi S, Jenkinson EM, Dorboz I, Renaldo F, Panteghini C, Rice GI, Henneke M, Livingston JH, Elmaleh M, Burglen L, Willemsen MA, Chiapparini L, Garavaglia B, Rodriguez D, Boespflug-Tanguy O, Moroni I, Crow YJ. Clinical, radiological and possible pathological overlap of cystic leukoencephalopathy without megalencephaly and Aicardi-Goutieres syndrome. Eur J Paediatr Neurol. 2016 Jul;20(4):604-10. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpn.2016.03.009. Epub 2016 Apr 7. Citation on PubMed

The information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.