Brain delivery and activity of a lysosomal enzyme using a blood-brain barrier transport vehicle in mice

Sci Transl Med. 2020 May 27;12(545):eaay1163. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aay1163.


Most lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs) involve progressive central nervous system (CNS) impairment, resulting from deficiency of a lysosomal enzyme. Treatment of neuronopathic LSDs remains a considerable challenge, as approved intravenously administered enzyme therapies are ineffective in modifying CNS disease because they do not effectively cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). We describe a therapeutic platform for increasing the brain exposure of enzyme replacement therapies. The enzyme transport vehicle (ETV) is a lysosomal enzyme fused to an Fc domain that has been engineered to bind to the transferrin receptor, which facilitates receptor-mediated transcytosis across the BBB. We demonstrate that ETV fusions containing iduronate 2-sulfatase (ETV:IDS), the lysosomal enzyme deficient in mucopolysaccharidosis type II, exhibited high intrinsic activity and degraded accumulated substrates in both IDS-deficient cell and in vivo models. ETV substantially improved brain delivery of IDS in a preclinical model of disease, enabling enhanced cellular distribution to neurons, astrocytes, and microglia throughout the brain. Improved brain exposure for ETV:IDS translated to a reduction in accumulated substrates in these CNS cell types and peripheral tissues and resulted in a complete correction of downstream disease-relevant pathologies in the brain, including secondary accumulation of lysosomal lipids, perturbed gene expression, neuroinflammation, and neuroaxonal damage. These data highlight the therapeutic potential of the ETV platform for LSDs and provide preclinical proof of concept for TV-enabled therapeutics to treat CNS diseases more broadly.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood-Brain Barrier*
  • Brain
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Enzyme Replacement Therapy
  • Iduronate Sulfatase*
  • Lysosomes
  • Mice


  • Iduronate Sulfatase