CNS-directed gene therapy for the treatment of neurologic and somatic mucopolysaccharidosis type II (Hunter syndrome)

Sandra Motas, Virginia Haurigot, Miguel Garcia, Sara Marcó, Albert Ribera, Carles Roca, Xavier Sánchez, Víctor Sánchez, Maria Molas, Joan Bertolin, Luca Maggioni, Xavier León, Jesús Ruberte, Fatima Bosch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Mucopolysaccharidosis type II (MPSII) is an X-linked lysosomal storage disease characterized by severe neurologic and somatic disease caused by deficiency of iduronate-2-sulfatase (IDS), an enzyme that catabolizes the glycosaminoglycans heparan and dermatan sulphate. Intravenous enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) currently constitutes the only approved therapeutic option for MPSII. However, the inability of recombinant IDS to efficiently cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) limits ERT efficacy in treating neurological symptoms. Here, we report a gene therapy approach for MPSII through direct delivery of vectors to the CNS. Through a minimally invasive procedure, we administered adeno-associated virus vectors encoding IDS (AAV9-Ids) to the cerebrospinal fluid of MPSII mice with already established disease. Treated mice showed a significant increase in IDS activity throughout the encephalon, with full resolution of lysosomal storage lesions, reversal of lysosomal dysfunction, normalization of brain transcriptomic signature, and disappearance of neuroinflammation. Moreover, our vector also transduced the liver, providing a peripheral source of therapeutic protein that corrected storage pathology in visceral organs, with evidence of cross-correction of nontransduced organs by circulating enzyme. Importantly, AAV9-Ids-treated MPSII mice showed normalization of behavioral deficits and considerably prolonged survival. These results provide a strong proof of concept for the clinical translation of our approach for the treatment of Hunter syndrome patients with cognitive impairment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere86696
Number of pages19
JournalJCI insight
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2016


  • Animals
  • Dependovirus
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Iduronate Sulfatase/genetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, 129 Strain
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis II/therapy


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