Jun 2, 2020

Constitutive Expression of the Immunosuppressive Tryptophan Dioxygenase TDO2 in Glioblastoma Is Driven by the Transcription Factor C/EBPβ

Frontiers in Immunology
Takumi KudoEdward W Green


Catabolism of the essential amino acid tryptophan is a key metabolic pathway contributing to the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment and therefore a viable drug target for cancer immunotherapy. In addition to the rate-limiting enzyme indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase-1 (IDO1), tryptophan catabolism via tryptophan-2,3-dioxygenase (TDO2) is a feature of many tumors, particularly malignant gliomas. The pathways regulating TDO2 in tumors are poorly understood; using unbiased promoter and gene expression analyses, we identify a distinct CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein β (C/EBPβ) binding site in the promoter of TDO2 essential for driving constitutive TDO2 expression in glioblastoma cells. Using The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) data, we find that C/EBPβ expression is correlated with TDO2, and both are enriched in malignant glioma of the mesenchymal subtype and associated with poor patient outcome. We determine that TDO2 expression is sustained mainly by the LAP isoform of CEBPB and interleukin-1β, which activates TDO2 via C/EBPβ in a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase-dependent fashion. In summary, we provide evidence for a novel regulatory and therapeutically targetable pathway of immunosuppressive tryptophan degradation in a...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Signal Pathways
Protein Isoforms
Protein Expression
CEBPB protein, human
Immunotherapy for Cancer

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