Amino Acid Transport and Metabolism in Myeloid Function

Marie Jo Halaby, Tracy L. McGaha*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Regulation of amino acid availability and metabolism in immune cells is essential for immune system homeostasis and responses to exogenous and endogenous challenges including microbial infection, tumorigenesis and autoimmunity. In myeloid cells the consumption of amino acids such as arginine and tryptophan and availability of their metabolites are key drivers of cellular identity impacting development, functional polarization to an inflammatory or regulatory phenotype, and interaction with other immune cells. In this review, we discuss recent developments and emerging concepts in our understanding of the impact amino acid availability and consumption has on cellular phenotype focusing on two key myeloid cell populations, macrophages and myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). We also highlight the potential of myeloid-specific of amino acid transporters and catabolic enzymes as immunotherapy targets in a variety of conditions such as cancer and autoimmune disease discussing the opportunities and limitations in targeting these pathways for clinical therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number695238
JournalFrontiers in immunology
StatePublished - Aug 12 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • IDO - indoleamine 2 3-dioxygenase
  • MDSC
  • amino acid
  • arginase (ARG)
  • immune suppression
  • inflammation
  • macrophage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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