Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Arginine-Depleting Enzyme Arginine Deiminase

  • Yun-Chung Leung
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_388-2




Arginine deiminase (ADI; EC is an enzyme from prokaryotes that has been used to deplete arginine in the treatment of arginine-requiring cancers.


To starve cancer cells through amino acid deprivation can be a strategy in cancer therapy. Specific amino acids are required for the growth of certain tumor cells, while normal cells can synthesize sufficient amounts for their own needs. For example, an enzyme called asparaginase has been used to deplete asparagine in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia and a few subtypes of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (Malignant Lymphoma, Hallmarks and Concepts) because these cancers lack asparagine synthetase and are auxotrophic for asparagine. Asparaginase degrades both asparagine and glutamine. The antitumor activity of this enzyme is due to its ability to degrade asparagine, and some of its deleterious side effects were due to its degradation of glutamine.

ADI is an enzyme that hydrolyzes arginine to...


Renal Cell Carcinoma Polyamine Synthesis Mycoplasma Hominis Orphan Drug Status Plasma Arginine 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lo Ka Chung Centre for Natural Anti-cancer Drug Development and Department of Applied Biology and Chemical TechnologyThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHong KongChina