Ablating N-acetylaspartate prevents leukodystrophy in a Canavan disease model

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Canavan disease is caused by inactivating ASPA (aspartoacylase) mutations that prevent cleavage of N-acetyl-L-aspartate (NAA), resulting in marked elevations in central nervous system (CNS) NAA and progressively worsening leukodystrophy. We now report that ablating NAA synthesis by constitutive genetic disruption of Nat8l (N-acetyltransferase-8 like) permits normal CNS myelination and prevents leukodystrophy in a murine Canavan disease model. Ann Neurol 2015;77:884–888

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