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    Tryptophan-2,3-dioxygenase (TDO) is a homotetrameric heme-containing protein catalyzing the initial step in the kynurenine pathway, which oxidates the 2,3-double bond of the indole ring in L-tryptophan and catalyzes it into kynurenine (KYN). The upregulation of TDO results in a decrease in tryptophan and the accumulation of KYN and its metabolites. These metabolites can affect the proliferation of T cells. Increasing evidence demonstrates that TDO is a promising therapeutic target in the anti-tumor process. Despite its growing popularity, there are only a few reviews focusing on TDO in tumors. Hence, we herein review the biological features and regulatory mechanisms of TDO. Additionally, we focus on the role of TDO in the anti-tumor immune response in different tumors. Finally, we also provide our viewpoint regarding the future developmental directions of TDO in cancer research, especially in relation to the development and application of TDO inhibitors as novel cancer treatments.


    Cheng-Peng Yu, Yun-Lei Song, Zheng-Ming Zhu, Bo Huang, Ying-Qun Xiao, Da-Ya Luo. Targeting TDO in cancer immunotherapy. Medical oncology (Northwood, London, England). 2017 May;34(5):73

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    PMID: 28357780

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