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Human glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (hGDNF) is a very promising protein for the treatment of Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. The present work describes a quick and simple method to obtain a high amount of purified hGDNF using a mammalian cell-derived system. The method is based on the high expression level provided by a Semliki Forest virus vector and its ability to induce a strong shut-off of host-cell protein synthesis in mammalian cells. As a result, hGDNF is the only protein present in the supernatant and can be efficiently purified by a single chromatographic step. Using this system it was possible to eliminate other secreted proteins from the culture medium, like insulin-like growth factor-5, which are hard to remove using other hGDNF production methods. Purified hGDNF presents a complex glycosylation pattern typical of mammalian expression systems and is biologically active. This protocol could be extended to other secreted proteins and could be easily scaled up for industrial purposes.