Indoleamine 2,3-Dioxygenase (IDO)
Indoleamine-pyrrole 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO or INDO) is a heme-containing enzyme physiologically expressed in a number of tissues and cells, such as the small intestine, lungs, female genital tract or placenta. In humans is encoded by the IDO1 gene. IDO is involved in tryptophan metabolism. It is one of three enzymes that catalyze the first and rate-limiting step in the kynurenine pathway, the O2-dependent oxidation of L-tryptophan to N-formylkynurenine, the others being indolamine-2,3-dioxygenase 2 (IDO2) and tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase (TDO). IDO is an important part of the immune system and plays a part in natural defense against various pathogens. It is produced by the cells in response to inflammation and has an immunosuppressive function because of its ability to limit T-cell function and engage mechanisms of immune tolerance. Emerging evidence suggests that IDO becomes activated during tumor development, helping malignant cells escape eradication by the immune system. Expression of IDO has been described in a number of types of cancer, such as acute myeloid leukemia, ovarian cancer or colorectal cancer. IDO is part of the malignant transformation process and plays a key role in suppressing the anti-tumor immune response in the body, so inhibiting it could increase the effect of chemotherapy as well as other immunotherapeutic protocols.