Some enzymes degrading amino acids have evolved in mammals to dampen immune responses and maintain peripheral tolerance. The enzymes metabolizing l-arginine and l-tryptophan are particularly powerful, contributing to restrain immunity towards fetal tissues and establish neonatal tolerance. Solid tumors can hijack these formidable pathways to construct a microenvironment highly unfavorable to anti-tumor T lymphocytes able to recognize them, one of mechanisms for their immune evasion. In this review, we analyze emerging concepts in the cross-talk between cells expressing these enzymes, their immune regulatory functions and pharmacological approaches that can target them to enhance cancer immunotherapy.
Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.