Tryptophan metabolism contributes to radiation-induced immune checkpoint reactivation in glioblastoma

Academic Article


  • Purpose: Immune checkpoint inhibitors designed to revert tumor-induced immunosuppression have emerged as potent anticancer therapies. Tryptophan metabolism represents an immune checkpoint, and targeting this pathway's rate-limiting enzyme IDO1 is actively being investigated clinically. Here, we studied the intermediary metabolism of tryptophan metabolism in glioblastoma and evaluated the activity of the IDO1 inhibitor GDC-0919, both alone and in combination with radiation (RT). Experimental Design: LC/GC-MS and expression profiling was performed for metabolomic and genomic analyses of patient-derived glioma. Immunocompetent mice were injected orthotopically with genetically engineered murine glioma cells and treated with GDC-0919 alone or combined with RT. Flow cytometry was performed on isolated tumors to determine immune consequences of individual treatments. Results: Integrated cross-platform analyses coupling global metabolomic and gene expression profiling identified aberrant tryptophan metabolism as a metabolic node specific to the mesenchymal and classical subtypes of glioblastoma. GDC-0919 demonstrated potent inhibition of this node and effectively crossed the blood-brain barrier. Although GDC-0919 as a single agent did not demonstrate antitumor activity, it had a strong potential for enhancing RT response in glioblastoma, which was further augmented with a hypofractionated regimen. RT response in glioblastoma involves immune stimulation, reflected by increases in activated and cytotoxic T cells, which was balanced by immune checkpoint reactivation, reflected by an increase in IDO1 expression and regulatory T cells (Treg). GDC-0919 mitigated RT-induced Tregs and enhanced T-cell activation. Conclusions: Tryptophan metabolism represents a metabolic node in glioblastoma, and combining RT with IDO1 inhibition enhances therapeutic response by mitigating RTinduced immunosuppression.
  • Authors

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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kesarwani P; Prabhu A; Kant S; Kumar P; Graham SF; Buelow KL; Wilson GD; Miller CR; Chinnaiyan P
  • Start Page

  • 3632
  • End Page

  • 3643
  • Volume

  • 24
  • Issue

  • 15