Tumor target prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) and its regulation in prostate cancer

J Cell Biochem. 2004 Feb 15;91(3):528-39. doi: 10.1002/jcb.10661.


Prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA), is a unique membrane bound glycoprotein, which is overexpressed manifold on prostate cancer as well as neovasculature of most of the solid tumors, but not in the vasculature of the normal tissues. This unique expression of PSMA makes it an important marker as well as a large extracellular target of imaging agents. PSMA can serve as target for delivery of therapeutic agents such as cytotoxins or radionuclides. PSMA has two unique enzymatic functions, folate hydrolase and NAALADase and found to be recycled like other membrane bound receptors through clathrin coated pits. The internalization property of PSMA leads one to consider the potential existence of a natural ligand for PSMA. In this review we have discussed the regulation of PSMA expression within the cells, and significance of its expression in prostate cancer and metastasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing / genetics
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Surface / genetics
  • Antigens, Surface / physiology*
  • Contractile Proteins / physiology
  • Dipeptides / metabolism
  • Endocytosis / physiology
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic / genetics
  • Filamins
  • Folic Acid / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Glutamate Carboxypeptidase II / genetics
  • Glutamate Carboxypeptidase II / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Microfilament Proteins / physiology
  • Models, Biological
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Receptors, Androgen / metabolism


  • Antigens, Surface
  • Contractile Proteins
  • Dipeptides
  • Filamins
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Receptors, Androgen
  • isospaglumic acid
  • Folic Acid
  • FOLH1 protein, human
  • Glutamate Carboxypeptidase II