IDO1 plays a tumor-promoting role via MDM2-mediated suppression of the p53 pathway in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

Cell Death Dis. 2022 Jun 27;13(6):572. doi: 10.1038/s41419-022-05021-2.


With the intensive therapeutic strategies, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is still a fatal disease due to its progressive characteristics. Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1) is a key regulator that catalyzes the commitment step of the kynurenine pathway in the immune system, its aberrant activation may contribute to malignant cell escape eradication. However, the role of IDO1 in DLBCL progression remains elusive. Our study showed IDO1 expression was upregulated in DLBCL and was associated with a poor prognosis and low overall survival. Inhibition of IDO1 suppressed DLBCL cell proliferation in vitro and impeded xenograft tumorigenesis in vivo. RNA-seq analyses revealed MDM2 was downregulated while TP53 was upregulated in IDO1 inhibition OCI-Ly10 cells. Mechanistically, IDO1 inhibition decreased the expression of MDM2, a major negative regulator of p53, and restored p53 expression in OCI-Ly3 and OCI-Ly10 cells, resulting in cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. IDO1 inhibition induced cell apoptosis coupled with PUMA and BAX upregulation, as well as BCL2 and BCL-XL downregulation. In addition, p21, a p53 transcriptional target, was upregulated in cell cycle arrest. Taken together, this study revealed IDO1 is essential for the proliferation of DLBCL cells and may be a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of DLBCL.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Cell Cycle Checkpoints
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse* / drug therapy
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2 / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2 / metabolism
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53* / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53* / metabolism


  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • MDM2 protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2