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Regulation of IDO2 by the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor (AhR) in Breast Cancer


Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 2 (IDO2) is a tryptophan-catabolizing enzyme and a homolog of IDO1 with a distinct expression pattern compared with IDO1. In dendritic cells (DCs), IDO activity and the resulting changes in tryptophan level regulate T-cell differentiation and promote immune tolerance. Recent studies indicate that IDO2 exerts an additional, non-enzymatic function and pro-inflammatory activity, which may play an important role in diseases such as autoimmunity and cancer. Here, we investigated the impact of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) activation by endogenous compounds and environmental pollutants on the expression of IDO2. Treatment with AhR ligands induced IDO2 in MCF-7 wildtype cells but not in CRISPR-cas9 AhR-knockout MCF-7 cells. Promoter analysis with IDO2 reporter constructs revealed that the AhR-dependent induction of IDO2 involves a short-tandem repeat containing four core sequences of a xenobiotic response element (XRE) upstream of the start site of the human ido2 gene. The analysis of breast cancer datasets revealed that IDO2 expression increased in breast cancer compared with normal samples. Our findings suggest that the AhR-mediated expression of IDO2 in breast cancer could contribute to a pro-tumorigenic microenvironment in breast cancer.

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