The eosinophil ribonucleases, eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN/RNase 2) and eosinophil cationic protein (ECP/RNase 3) are two closely related proteins with intriguing functional and evolutionary properties. While both EDN and ECP maintain the structural and catalytic residues typical of the RNase A superfamily, the role of ribonuclease activity in the physiologic function of these proteins remains unclear. The biochemistry and physiology of EDN, ECP and the recently discovered ribonuclease k6 (RNase 6) will be reviewed in this chapter.
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