From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia


1-Methyltryptophan (1-MT) is an amino acid derivative that acts as an inhibitor of the enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO). IDO is involved in the metabolism of tryptophan along the kynurenine pathway, which is a critical pathway in the regulation of immunity. By inhibiting IDO, 1-MT can modulate immune responses, making it of interest in the study of cancer immunotherapy and other diseases where the immune system plays a critical role.

Overview[edit | edit source]

Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) is an enzyme that catalyzes the first and rate-limiting step in the degradation of tryptophan along the kynurenine pathway. This pathway leads to the production of several metabolites that can have profound effects on the immune system, including the suppression of T-cell proliferation and the promotion of regulatory T-cell formation. IDO is expressed in many types of cells and tissues and is upregulated in many cancers, where it contributes to the creation of an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. By inhibiting IDO, 1-Methyltryptophan can potentially counteract this immunosuppression.

Mechanism of Action[edit | edit source]

1-Methyltryptophan inhibits the activity of IDO, thereby reducing the metabolism of tryptophan into kynurenine. This inhibition can lead to an increase in tryptophan levels and a decrease in kynurenine levels, which may help to restore normal immune function. The exact mechanism by which 1-MT exerts its effects is still under investigation, but it is believed to involve the modulation of tryptophan availability and the alteration of kynurenine pathway metabolite levels, which can influence immune cell function.

Clinical Applications[edit | edit source]

The potential of 1-Methyltryptophan in cancer immunotherapy stems from its ability to modulate the immune system. By inhibiting IDO and altering the tryptophan metabolism, 1-MT can enhance the immune system's ability to recognize and attack tumor cells. It is being investigated in preclinical and clinical studies for its potential to improve the efficacy of cancer vaccines and other forms of immunotherapy.

Safety and Efficacy[edit | edit source]

The safety and efficacy of 1-Methyltryptophan as a therapeutic agent are still being evaluated. As with any potential therapeutic, it is crucial to balance the benefits of treatment against any possible adverse effects. Ongoing research aims to better understand the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and optimal dosing strategies for 1-MT in various therapeutic contexts.

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

1-Methyltryptophan represents a promising avenue of research in the field of immunotherapy, particularly for its potential to counteract the immunosuppressive mechanisms employed by tumors. As research progresses, 1-MT may find a place in the treatment of cancer and other diseases where modulation of the immune system can provide therapeutic benefits.


Navigation: Wellness - Encyclopedia - Health topics - Disease Index‏‎ - Drugs - World Directory - Gray's Anatomy - Keto diet - Recipes

Search WikiMD

Ad.Tired of being Overweight? Try W8MD's physician weight loss program.
Semaglutide (Ozempic / Wegovy and Tirzepatide (Mounjaro / Zepbound) available.
Advertise on WikiMD

WikiMD is not a substitute for professional medical advice. See full disclaimer.

Credits:Most images are courtesy of Wikimedia commons, and templates Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY SA or similar.

Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD