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Background: Rett syndrome (RTT) is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in the transcriptional regulator methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2). After gene transfer in mice, exogenous MeCP2 expression must be regulated to avoid dose-dependent toxicity. Summary: The preclinical gene therapy literature for treating Rett syndrome (RTT) illustrates a duly diligent progression that begins with proof-of-concept studies and advances toward the development of safer, regulated MECP2 viral genome designs. This design progression was partly achieved through international collaborative studies. In 2023, clinicians administered investigational gene therapies for RTT to patients a decade after the first preclinical gene therapy publications for RTT (clinical trial numbers NCT05606614 and NCT05898620). As clinicians take on a more prominent role in MECP2 gene therapy research, preclinical researchers may continue to test more nuanced hypotheses regarding the safety, efficacy, and mechanism of MECP2 gene transfer. Key Message: This review summarizes the history of preclinical MECP2 gene transfer for treating RTT and acknowledges major contributions among colleagues in the field. The first clinical injections are a shared milestone.

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