IDO-mediated tryptophan degradation in the pathogenesis of malignant tumor disease

Robert Sucher, Katharina Kurz, Guenter Weiss, Raimund Margreiter, Dietmar Fuchs, Gerald Brandacher

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Immune escape is a fundamental trait of cancer in which the Th1-type cytokine interferon- γ (IFN-γ) seems to play a key role. Among other tumoricidal biochemical pathways, IFN-γ induces the tryptophan-degrading enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) in a variety of cells including macrophages, dendritic cells (DCs) and tumor cells. IDO activity has been shown to reflect the extent and the course in a plethora of malignancies including prostate, colorectal, pancreatic, cervical, endometrial, gastric, lung, bladder, ovarian, esophageal and renal cell carcinomas, glioblastomas, mesotheliomas, and melanomas. Furthermore IDO activity during malignant tumor diseases seems to be part of the tumoricidal immune defense strategy, which in the long run is detrimental to the host, when tryptophan deprivation and production of pro-apoptotic tryptophan catabolites counteract T-cell responsiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-120
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Tryptophan Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • IDO
  • Malignant tumor disease
  • Tryptophan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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