Detection and characterization of the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) in tissue extracts and body fluids

Int J Cancer. 1995 Sep 4;62(5):552-8. doi: 10.1002/ijc.2910620511.


The prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) glycoprotein is recognized by the monoclonal antibody (MAb) 7E11-C5.3 as a predominant 100 kDa and minor 180 kDa component in LNCaP cell line extracts and its expression has been shown by immunohistochemistry to be highly restricted to prostate epithelium. The aim of the present study was to utilize Western blot analysis to determine if PSMA could be detected in human tissue extracts and body fluids and if so, which molecular forms were present. PSMA was detected as 120 and 200 kDa bands in normal, benign and malignant prostate tissues and seminal plasma. Further analysis demonstrated that the larger molecular form of PSMA may be a dimer of the lower m.w. species. The PSMA glycoprotein was not detected in the majority of non-prostate tissue extracts examined except for a low yet significant amount in normal salivary gland, brain and small intestine, suggesting that PSMA may not be as prostate-specific as originally thought. Since the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) has been shown to be maximally shed into the serum in high-grade and metastatic prostate carcinomas, it was surprising that PSMA could not be detected in serum by Western blot analysis even in patients with actively progressive metastatic disease. Second generation antibodies generated against different epitopes may be required to determine if PSMA is shed into serum. Our results support the hypothesis that PSMA is a novel prostate biomarker.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / analysis*
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / blood
  • Antigens, Surface / analysis*
  • Antigens, Surface / blood
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional
  • Glutamate Carboxypeptidase II
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Peptides / immunology
  • Prostate / chemistry
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Semen / chemistry
  • Tissue Extracts
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Antigens, Surface
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Peptides
  • Tissue Extracts
  • FOLH1 protein, human
  • Glutamate Carboxypeptidase II
  • PSMA protein, mouse