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Keywords:

  • Pompe disease;
  • glycogen storage disease type II;
  • lysosomal storage diseases;
  • enzyme replacement therapy;
  • cross-reactive immunologic material;
  • antibody

Abstract

Pompe disease is a lysosomal storage disorder caused by deficiency in the enzyme acid α-glucosidase (GAA). Pompe disease is characterized by the accumulation of glycogen, predominantly in muscle tissue, leading to progressive muscle weakness, loss of motor, respiratory, and, in the infantile-onset form, cardiac function. Disease progression is highly variable depending on phenotype, but premature death due to respiratory complications occurs in most patients. Beginning in 2006, approved alglucosidase alfa enzyme replacement therapies [recombinant human (rh) GAA] have been available to treat Pompe patients. Treatment of classic infantile-onset patients, who manifest the severest form of the disease, with alglucosidase alfa (Myozyme®) has led to extended survival and an evolving understanding of the pathophysiology and course of the disease. Moreover, such treatment has brought to light the role of the immune response in abrogating the efficacy of rhGAA in classic infantile-onset patients with severe genetic mutations. Thus, optimization of treatment for such patients includes development and utilization of strategies to prevent or eliminate immune responses, including modulating the immune system (prophylactic and therapeutic immune tolerance induction regimens) and engineering the enzyme to be less immunogenic and more effective. Future research is also critical for evaluating and mitigating novel disease-associated pathologies uncovered by prolonged survival of infantile-onset patients including development of novel therapeutics, and for protein design strategies to increase delivery of enzyme replacement therapy to critical target tissues. Such efforts would be greatly bolstered by further development of predictive animal models and biomarkers to facilitate clinical trials and patient management. Published 2012. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.