Itaconic acid is well known as a precursor for polymer synthesis and has been involved in industrial processes for decades. In a recent surprising discovery, itaconic acid was found to play a role as an immune-supportive metabolite in mammalian immune cells, where it is synthesized as an antimicrobial compound from the citric acid cycle intermediate cis-aconitic acid. Although the immune-responsive gene 1 protein (IRG1) has been associated to immune response without a mechanistic function, the critical link to itaconic acid production through an enzymatic function of this protein was only recently revealed. In this review, we highlight the history of itaconic acid as an industrial and antimicrobial compound, starting with its biotechnological synthesis and ending with its antimicrobial function in mammalian immune cells.
|Number of pages||23|
|Journal||Annual Review of Nutrition|
|Publication status||Published - 17 Jul 2015|
- Immune-responsive gene 1 protein (IRG1)
- Metabolic immunity
- cis-aconitic acid decarboxylase