Our previous study delivered zinc finger nucleases to treat mice with mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPS I), resulting in a phase I/II clinical trial (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02702115). However, in the clinical trial, the efficacy needs to be improved due to the low transgene expression level. To this end, we designed a proprietary system (PS) gene editing approach with CRISPR to insert a promoterless α-L-iduronidase (IDUA) cDNA sequence into the albumin locus of hepatocytes. In this study, adeno-associated virus 8 (AAV8) vectors delivering the PS gene editing system were injected into neonatal and adult MPS I mice. IDUA enzyme activity in the brain significantly increased, while storage levels were normalized. Neurobehavioral tests showed that treated mice had better memory and learning ability. Also, histological analysis showed efficacy reflected by the absence of foam cells in the liver and vacuolation in neuronal cells. No vector-associated toxicity or increased tumorigenesis risk was observed. Moreover, no off-target effects were detected through the unbiased genome-wide unbiased identification of double-stranded breaks enabled by sequencing (GUIDE-seq) analysis. In summary, these results showed the safety and efficacy of the PS in treating MPS I and paved the way for clinical studies. Additionally, as a therapeutic platform, the PS has the potential to treat other lysosomal diseases.
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