Disrupted kynurenine pathway (KP) metabolism has been implicated in the progression
of neurodegenerative disease, psychiatric disorders and cancer. Modulation of enzyme
activity along this pathway may therefore offer potential new therapeutic strategies for
these conditions. Considering their prominent positions in the KP, the enzymes indoleamine
2,3-dioxygenase, kynurenine 3-monooxygenase and kynurenine aminotransferase, appear the
most attractive targets. Already, increasing interest in this pathway has led to the identification
of a number of potent and selective enzyme inhibitors with promising pre-clinical data
and the elucidation of several enzyme crystal structures provides scope to rationalize the molecular
mechanisms of inhibitor activity. The field seems poised to yield one or more inhibitors
that should find clinical utility.
Keywords: Kynurenine pathway, neurodegeneration, cancer, indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase, kynurenine 3-
monooxygenase, enzyme inhibitors.
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