The urokinase-type plasminogen activator system in prostate cancer metastasis

Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2001;20(3-4):287-96. doi: 10.1023/a:1015539612576.


Accumulated clinical and experimental evidence indicates that the urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and its regulators are causatively involved in the metastatic phenotype of many types of cancers. In the past couple of decades, investigation on the role of the uPA system in human prostate cancer (PC) has been intensified and has yielded valuable insights. This review summarizes recent advances made in several areas regarding the clinical relevance, the function and the molecular mechanisms of the uPA system in PC metastasis. A current consensus suggests that the uPA system promotes PC metastasis by mediating pericellular plasminogen activation. Towards the development of therapeutic strategies that specifically target uPA-mediated PC metastasis, several remaining issues are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Metastasis*
  • Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1 / physiology
  • Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 2 / physiology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Urokinase Plasminogen Activator
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator / physiology*


  • PLAUR protein, human
  • Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1
  • Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 2
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Urokinase Plasminogen Activator
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator