Gene therapy for Rett syndrome: prospects and challenges

Written by Kamal KE Gadalla, Paul D Ross, Ralph D Hector et al.

Rett syndrome (RTT) is a neurological disorder that affects females and is caused by loss-of-function mutations in the X-linked gene MECP2. Deletion of Mecp2 in mice results in a constellation of neurological features that resemble those seen in RTT patients. Experiments in mice have demonstrated that restoration of MeCP2, even at adult stages, reverses several aspects of the RTT-like pathology suggesting that the disorder may be inherently treatable. This has provided an impetus to explore several therapeutic approaches targeting RTT at the level of the gene, including gene therapy, activation of MECP2 on the inactive X chromosome and read-through and repair of RTT-causing mutations. Here, we review these different strategies and the challenges of gene-based approaches in RTT.

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