Molecular forms of prostate-specific antigen and the human kallikrein gene family: a new era

Urology. 1995 May;45(5):729-44. doi: 10.1016/s0090-4295(99)80076-4.


Without question, much has been learned about the glycoprotein PSA in recent years. By increasing our understanding of this tumor marker's biochemical and physiologic properties, we will be able to improve its clinical utility. The discovery of the various molecular forms of PSA represents a significant advancement. Knowing the concentration and ratio of these PSA forms will be valuable in deciding which patients require further evaluation with transrectal ultrasound and prostate biopsy and which men can be monitored safely without undergoing further invasive testing. This information will be most valuable in treating the patient with a mildly elevated serum PSA level. Although assays are not yet available to detect specifically hK2, the striking similarities of hK2 to PSA, including selective expression in the prostate, suggest that this marker may also prove useful in prostate cancer management. Indeed, a new era of PSA testing has been entered, and the entire field of prostate cancer will benefit.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / genetics
  • Humans
  • Kallikreins / genetics*
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Molecular Structure
  • Molecular Weight
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / analysis
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / genetics*
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / immunology
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / diagnosis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Terminology as Topic


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Kallikreins
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen