YH29407 with anti-PD-1 ameliorates anti-tumor effects via increased T cell functionality and antigen presenting machinery in the tumor microenvironment

Dong Kwon Kim, Chun Bong Synn, Seung Min Yang, Seongsan Kang, Sujeong Baek, Se Woong Oh, Gyu Jin Lee, Ho Woong Kang, Young Sung Lee, Jong Suk Park, Jae Hwan Kim, Youngseon Byeon, Young Seob Kim, Doo Jae Lee, Hyun Woo Kim, June Dong Park, Sung Sook Lee, Ji Yun Lee, Jii Bum Lee, Chang Gon KimMin Hee Hong, Sun Min Lim, Hey Ryun Kim, Kyoung Ho Pyo, Byoung Chul Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Among cancer cells, indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase1 (IDO1) activity has been implicated in improving the proliferation and growth of cancer cells and suppressing immune cell activity. IDO1 is also responsible for the catabolism of tryptophan to kynurenine. Depletion of tryptophan and an increase in kynurenine exert important immunosuppressive functions by activating regulatory T cells and suppressing CD8+ T and natural killer (NK) cells. In this study, we compared the anti-tumor effects of YH29407, the best-in-class IDO1 inhibitor with improved pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics, with first and second-generation IDO1 inhibitors (epacadostat and BMS-986205, respectively). YH29407 treatment alone and anti-PD-1 (aPD-1) combination treatment induced significant tumor suppression compared with competing drugs. In particular, combination treatment showed the best anti-tumor effects, with most tumors reduced and complete responses. Our observations suggest that improved anti-tumor effects were caused by an increase in T cell infiltration and activity after YH29407 treatment. Notably, an immune depletion assay confirmed that YH29407 is closely related to CD8+ T cells. RNA-seq results showed that treatment with YH29407 increased the expression of genes involved in T cell function and antigen presentation in tumors expressing ZAP70, LCK, NFATC2, B2M, and MYD88 genes. Our results suggest that an IDO1 inhibitor, YH29407, has enhanced PK/PD compared to previous IDO1 inhibitors by causing a change in the population of CD8+ T cells including infiltrating T cells into the tumor. Ultimately, YH29407 overcame the limitations of the competing drugs and displayed potential as an immunotherapy strategy in combination with aPD-1.

Original languageEnglish
Article number998013
JournalFrontiers in Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec 5

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Bio-industry core technology development project (No. 20000866, Development of selection algorithm and new multiplex predictive markers for combinational therapy of TGFbeta inhibitor and PD-(L)1 based immunotherapy) funded By the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE, Korea). This study was supported by a Dongin Sports research grant of Yonsei University College of Medicine (6-2020-0172). This research was supported by the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program of the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Korean government (MSIT) (No. 2022M3E5F3081138).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 Kim, Synn, Yang, Kang, Baek, Oh, Lee, Kang, Lee, Park, Kim, Byeon, Kim, Lee, Kim, Park, Lee, Lee, Lee, Kim, Hong, Lim, Kim, Pyo and Cho.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)


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