Design, synthesis and evaluation of tryptophan analogues as tool compounds to study IDO1 activity

Nicholas Cundy, Roseanna Hare, Tina Ting, Andrew G. Leach, Thomas Jowitt, Omar Qureshi, John Gordon, Nicholas Barnes, Catherine A Brady, Emma L Raven, Richard Grainger, Sam Butterworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Downloads (Pure)


The metabolism of L-tryptophan to N-formyl-L-kynurenine by indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1) is thought to play a critical role in tumour-mediated immune suppression. Whilst there has been significant progress in elucidating the overall enzymatic mechanism of IDO1 and related enzymes, key aspects of the catalytic cycle remain poorly understood. Here we report the design, synthesis and biological evaluation of a series of tryptophan analogues which have the potential to intercept putative intermediates in the metabolism of 1 by IDO1. Functionally-relevant binding to IDO1 was demonstrated through enzymatic inhibition, however no IDO1-mediated metabolism of these compounds was observed. Subsequent Tm-shift analysis shows the most active compound, 17, exhibits a distinct profile from known competitive IDO1 inhibitors, with docking studies supporting the hypothesis that 17 may bind at the recently-discovered Si site. These findings provide a start-point for development of further mechanistic probes and more potent tryptophan-based IDO1 inhibitors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1651-1660
JournalRSC Chemical Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Design, synthesis and evaluation of tryptophan analogues as tool compounds to study IDO1 activity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this