View Main Condition: Mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS)
Mucopolysaccharidosis type II (MPS II), also known as Hunter syndrome, is a condition that affects many different parts of the body and occurs almost exclusively in males. It is a progressively debilitating disorder; however, the rate of progression varies among affected individuals.
Mutations in the IDS gene cause MPS II. The IDS gene provides instructions for producing the I2S enzyme, which is involved in the breakdown of large sugar molecules called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). GAGs were originally called mucopolysaccharides, which is where this condition gets its name. Mutations in the IDS gene reduce or completely eliminate the function of the I2S enzyme. Lack of I2S enzyme activity leads to the accumulation of GAGs within cells, specifically inside the lysosomes. Lysosomes are compartments in the cell that digest and recycle different types of molecules. Conditions that cause molecules to build up inside the lysosomes, including MPS II, are called lysosomal storage disorders. The accumulation of GAGs increases the size of the lysosomes, which is why many tissues and organs are enlarged in this disorder. Researchers believe that the GAGs may also interfere with the functions of other proteins inside the lysosomes and disrupt the movement of molecules inside the cell.
MPS II occurs in approximately 1 in 100,000 to 1 in 170,000 males.
This condition is inherited in an X-linked recessive pattern. The gene associated with this condition is located on the X chromosome, which is one of the two sex chromosomes. In males (who have only one X chromosome), one altered copy of the gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the condition. In females (who have two X chromosomes), a mutation would have to occur in both copies of the gene to cause the disorder. Because it is unlikely that females will have two altered copies of this gene, males are affected by X-linked recessive disorders much more frequently than females. A characteristic of X-linked inheritance is that fathers cannot pass X-linked traits to their sons.
Published Date: December 01, 2008Published By: National Institutes of Health