Enhanced brain distribution of modified aspartoacylase

Nitesh K. Poddar, Stephen Zano, Reka Natarajan, Bryan Yamamoto, Ronald E. Viola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Canavan disease is a fatal neurological disorder caused by defects in the gene that produces the enzyme aspartoacylase. Enzyme replacement therapy can potentially be used to overcome these defects if a stable enzyme form that can gain access to the appropriate neural cells can be produced. Achieving the proper cellular targeting requires a modified form of aspartoacylase that can traverse the blood-brain barrier. A PEGylated form of aspartoacylase that shows dramatic enhancement in brain tissue access and distribution has been produced. While the mechanism of transport has not yet been established, this modified enzyme is significantly less immunogenic than unmodified aspartoacylase. These improved properties set the stage for more extensive enzyme replacement trials as a possible treatment strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-224
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular Genetics and Metabolism
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Aspartoacylase
  • Blood-brain barrier
  • Canavan disease
  • Enzyme replacement therapy
  • PEGylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology

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