Tryptophan metabolism in brain tumors — IDO and beyond

Michael Platten, Mirco Friedrich, Derek A. Wainwright, Verena Panitz, Christiane A. Opitz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Metabolism of the essential amino acid tryptophan is a key metabolic pathway that restricts antitumor immunity and is a drug development target for cancer immunotherapy. Tryptophan metabolism is active in brain tumors including gliomas and promotes a malignant phenotype and contributes to the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. In recent years, improved understanding of the regulation and downstream function of tryptophan metabolism has been significantly expanded beyond the initial in vitro observation that the enzyme indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1) promotes the depletion of intracellular tryptophan. Here, we revisit the specific roles of tryptophan metabolites in regulating brain functioning and neuronal integrity as well as in the context of brain tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-66
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Opinion in Immunology
StatePublished - Jun 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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