Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA (MPS IIIA, Sanfilippo A) is a neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disorder caused by the deficiency of sulphamidase enzyme (SGSH) leading to accumulation of heparan sulfate (HS). We quantitatively and structurally characterize primary stored HS and other glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) possibly accumulated through a secondary storage in brain, liver, kidney and lung of MPS IIIA mouse model. This analysis was also performed in MPS IIIA mice upon the intravenous treatment with an engineered human sulphamidase (chimeric hSGSH) capable to increase its secretion from the liver and to cross the blood-brain barrier. MPS IIIA animals showed a huge accumulation of HS, from ~15 up to ~24-times higher than wild type and also of hyaluronic acid (HA) (from 2.5 up to ~5.0-times more) and chondroitin sulfate (CS)/dermatan sulfate (DS) (from ~2 up to ~5-times more) in all studied organs. We also observed a significant increase in the overall HS charge density and in particular of 2-O-sulfation in MPS IIIA mice organs. 8 months after a systemic treatment with an engineered SGSH, the enzyme was highly efficient in the reduction of all accumulated GAGs in liver, brain and lung up to values of wild type mice. On the contrary, even if reduced, GAGs levels still remained significantly elevated in kidney. Overall data obtained by this detailed analysis of GAGs in the different organs of affected and treated animals with chimeric hSGSH may have implications for the evaluation of an effective therapeutic option of MPS IIIA and for the reduction of related neuropathology.
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Central nervous system
Enzyme replacement therapy
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
Laser induced fluorescence
Lysosomal storage disorders
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The authors are grateful to Fondazione Mancini for its continuous support.
N.V. developed the applied methodologies. F.M., V.M., and F.G. performed the experimental procedures and analyses. SNC and FA performed experiments on mice. N.V. designed and developed the experimental design, performed data analysis and wrote the manuscript.
All authors reviewed and approved the study.
Conflicts of interest
We declare that we have no conflicts of interest.
Maccari F and Sorrentino NC equal contribution
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Maccari, F., Sorrentino, N.C., Mantovani, V. et al. Glycosaminoglycan levels and structure in a mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA mice and the effect of a highly secreted sulfamidase engineered to cross the blood-brain barrier. Metab Brain Dis 32, 203–210 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11011-016-9895-x
- Mucopolysaccharidoses IIIA
- Engineered sulphamidase
- Heparan sulfate