Trends in enzyme therapy for phenylketonuria

Woomi Kim, Heidi Erlandsen, Sankar Surendran, Raymond C. Stevens, Alejandra Gamez, Kimberlee Michols-Matalon, Stephen K. Tyring, Reuben Matalon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Phenylketonuria (PKU) is an inborn error of amino acid metabolism caused by phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) deficiency. Dietary treatment has been the cornerstone for controlling systemic phenylalanine (Phe) levels in PKU for the past 4 decades. Over the years, it has become clear that blood Phe concentration needs to be controlled for the life of the patient, a difficult task taking into consideration that the diet becomes very difficult to maintain. Therefore alternative models of therapy are being pursued. This review describes the progress made in enzyme replacement therapy for PKU. Two modalities are discussed, PAH and phenylalanine ammonia-lyase PAH. Developing stable and functional forms of both enzymes has proven difficult, but recent success in producing polyethylene glycol-modified forms of active and stable PAH shows promise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-224
Number of pages5
JournalMolecular Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Enzyme replacement therapy
  • Microencapsulation
  • PEGylation
  • Phenylalanine ammonia-lyase
  • Phenylalanine hydroxylase
  • Phenylketonuria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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