From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia

1-Methyltryptophan is a derivative of the essential amino acid tryptophan. It is often used in research as an inhibitor of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), an enzyme involved in the metabolism of tryptophan.

Chemistry[edit | edit source]

1-Methyltryptophan is a chiral compound with two possible enantiomers, L-1-methyltryptophan and D-1-methyltryptophan. The L-enantiomer is a more potent inhibitor of IDO than the D-enantiomer.

Biological Role[edit | edit source]

In the body, 1-methyltryptophan acts as a competitive inhibitor of IDO, meaning it binds to the active site of the enzyme and prevents it from metabolizing tryptophan. This has the effect of increasing the concentration of tryptophan in the body, which can influence various physiological processes.

Medical Research[edit | edit source]

1-Methyltryptophan has been studied for its potential use in cancer treatment. Some cancers express high levels of IDO, which is thought to contribute to immune evasion by the cancer cells. By inhibiting IDO, 1-methyltryptophan may help to enhance the immune response against cancer.

Safety[edit | edit source]

As a derivative of an essential amino acid, 1-methyltryptophan is generally considered safe for consumption. However, excessive intake can lead to an imbalance in amino acid levels in the body, which can have negative health effects.

See Also[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD