Gene therapy for lysosomal storage disorders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs) encompass more than 50 distinct diseases, caused by defects in various aspects of lysosomal function. Neurodegeneration and/or dysmyelination are the hallmark of roughly 70% of LSDs. Gene therapy represents a promising approach for the treatment of CNS manifestations in LSDs, as it has the potential to provide a permanent source of the deficient enzyme, either by direct injection of vectors or by transplantation of gene-corrected cells. In this latter approach, the biology of neural stem/progenitor cells and hematopoietic cells might be exploited. Areas covered: Based on an extensive literature search up until March 2011, the author reviews and discusses the progress, the crucial aspects and the major challenges towards the development of novel gene therapy strategies aimed to target the CNS, with particular attention to direct intracerebral gene delivery and transplantation of neural stem/progenitor cells. Expert opinion: The implementation of viral vector delivery systems with specific tropism, regulated transgene expression, low immunogenicity and low genotoxic risk and the improvement in isolation and manipulation of relevant cell types to be transplanted, are fundamental challenges to the field. Also, combinatorial strategies might be required to achieve full correction in LSDs with neurological involvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1153-1167
Number of pages15
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


  • CNS
  • Gene delivery
  • Gene therapy
  • Lysosomal storage disorders
  • Viral vectors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Drug Discovery


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