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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1990 Apr 16;168(1):1-8.

Molecular cloning, sequencing and expression of human interferon-gamma-inducible indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase cDNA.

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  • 1Hipple Cancer Research Center, Dayton, Ohio 45439.


The antiproliferative action of human interferon (HuIFN)-gamma on human cells and the inhibition of intracellular pathogens, e.g. Toxoplasma gondii and Chlamydia psittaci, is at least in part due to an induction of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) enzyme which degrades tryptophan, an essential amino acid. A cDNA clone (called C42) was isolated from a cDNA library made from poly(A)+ RNA obtained from HuIFN-gamma-treated human fibroblasts. Its nucleotide sequence revealed an open reading frame coding for a polypeptide of 403 amino acids, but no homology with any known gene in GenBank database was found. Evidence was obtained indicating that this cDNA codes for IDO: (i) Hybrid selected C42 specific poly(A)+ RNA from IFN-gamma-treated human cells coded for a polypeptide in vitro of approximately 42 kD (reported size of IDO, approximately 40 kD) which was immunoprecipitated by monoclonal anti-IDO antibody but not by a control antibody; and (ii) transfection of human fibroblasts with an expression plasmid containing C42 cDNA transcribed from chicken beta-actin promoter led to constitutive expression of C42 specific RNA as well as IDO activity. This cDNA clone will be useful in studying the role of IDO in the biological effects of IFN-gamma, and the regulation of IDO gene by IFN-gamma.

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