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To evade immune destruction, tumors exploit a wide range of immune escape mechanisms, including the induction of an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. This is mediated, in part, by amino acid degrading enzymes indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase, tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase, arginase 1 and arginase 2, which have emerged as key players in the regulation of tumor-induced immune tolerance. Here we describe how the expression of tryptophan- and arginine-degrading enzymes by tumor and tumor-infiltrating cells can hamper cancer-specific immune responses, and discuss how this knowledge is being exploited to develop new strategies for cancer immunotherapy.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





83 - 97


arginase, immunosuppression, indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase, tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase, tumor microenvironment, Animals, Arginase, Humans, Immunity, Immunotherapy, Indoleamine-Pyrrole 2,3,-Dioxygenase, Molecular Targeted Therapy, Neoplasms, Tryptophan Oxygenase, Tumor Escape