Sanfilippo syndrome type B (mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIB) is a recessive genetic disorder that severely affects the brain due to a deficiency in the enzyme α-N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAGLU), leading to intra-lysosomal accumulation of partially degraded heparan sulfate. There are no effective treatments for this disorder. In this project, we carried out an ex vivo correction of neural stem cells derived from Naglu−/− mice (iNSCs) induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) using a modified enzyme in which human NAGLU is fused to an insulin-like growth factor II receptor binding peptide in order to improve enzyme uptake. After brain transplantation of corrected iNSCs into Naglu−/− mice and long-term evaluation of their impact, we successfully detected NAGLU-IGFII activity in all transplanted animals. We found decreased lysosomal accumulation and reduced astrocytosis and microglial activation throughout transplanted brains. We also identified a novel neuropathological phenotype in untreated Naglu−/− brains with decreased levels of the neuronal marker Map2 and accumulation of synaptophysin-positive aggregates. Upon transplantation, we restored levels of Map2 expression and significantly reduced formation of synaptophysin-positive aggregates. Our findings suggest that genetically engineered iNSCs can be used to effectively deliver the missing enzyme to the brain and treat Sanfilippo type B-associated neuropathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)452-463
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Therapy - Methods and Clinical Development
StatePublished - Dec 8 2022


  • LSD
  • MPS
  • Sanfilippo type B
  • cell therapy
  • neural progenitor cells


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