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Int J Cancer. 2016 Aug 1;139(3):501-9. doi: 10.1002/ijc.30051. Epub 2016 Apr 15.

Molecular basis and current strategies of therapeutic arginine depletion for cancer.

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Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom.


Renewed interest in the use of therapeutic enzymes combined with an improved knowledge of cancer cell metabolism, has led to the translation of several arginine depletion strategies into early phase clinical trials. Arginine auxotrophic tumors are reliant on extracellular arginine, due to the downregulation of arginosuccinate synthetase or ornithine transcarbamylase-key enzymes for intracellular arginine recycling. Engineered arginine catabolic enzymes such as recombinant human arginase (rh-Arg1-PEG) and arginine deiminase (ADI-PEG) have demonstrated cytotoxicity against arginine auxotrophic tumors. In this review, we discuss the molecular events triggered by extracellular arginine depletion that contribute to tumor cell death.


arginine deiminase; arginine deprivation; recombinant human arginase

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