An orally administered enzyme therapeutic for homocystinuria that suppresses homocysteine by metabolizing methionine in the gastrointestinal tract

Kristen Skvorak, Vesna Mitchell, Leann Teadt, Kierra A. Franklin, Hyung Ok Lee, Nikki Kruse, Callie Huitt-Roehl, Julie Hang, Faye Du, Stephanie Galanie, Steven Guan, Hera Aijaz, Nianliu Zhang, Gabriel Rajkovic, Warren D. Kruger, Moulay Hicham Alaoui Ismaili, Gjalt Huisman, Kerryn McCluskie, Adam P. Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Classical homocystinuria (HCU) is a rare inborn error of amino acid metabolism characterized by accumulation of homocysteine, an intermediate product of methionine metabolism, leading to significant systemic toxicities, particularly within the vascular, skeletal, and ocular systems. Most patients require lifelong dietary therapy with severe restriction of natural protein to minimize methionine intake, and many patients still struggle to maintain healthy homocysteine levels. Since eliminating methionine from the diet reduces homocysteine levels, we hypothesized that an enzyme that can degrade methionine within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract could help HCU patients maintain healthy levels while easing natural protein restrictions. We describe the preclinical development of CDX-6512, a methionine gamma lyase (MGL) enzyme that was engineered for stability and activity within the GI tract for oral administration to locally degrade methionine. CDX-6512 is stable to low pH and intestinal proteases, enabling it to survive the harsh GI environment without enteric coating and to degrade methionine freed from dietary protein within the small intestine. Administering CDX-6512 to healthy non-human primates following a high protein meal led to a dose-dependent suppression of plasma methionine. In Tg-I278T Cbs−/− mice, an animal model that recapitulates aspects of HCU disease including highly elevated serum homocysteine levels, oral dosing of CDX-6512 after a high protein meal led to suppression in serum levels of both methionine and homocysteine. When animals received a daily dose of CDX-6512 with a high protein meal for two weeks, the Tg-I278T Cbs−/− mice maintained baseline homocysteine levels, whereas homocysteine levels in untreated animals increased by 39%. These preclinical data demonstrate the potential of CDX-6512 as an oral enzyme therapy for HCU.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107653
Pages (from-to)107653
JournalMolecular Genetics and Metabolism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • Cystathionine beta-synthase deficiency
  • Enzyme engineering
  • Enzyme replacement therapy
  • Homocystinuria
  • Methionine gamma lyase


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