Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSM) is a glycoprotein recognised by the prostate-specific monoclonal antibody 7E11-C5, which was raised against the human prostatic carcinoma cell line LNCaP. A cDNA clone for PSM has been described. PSM is of clinical importance for a number of reasons. Radiolabelled antibody is being evaluated both as an imaging agent and as an immunotherapeutic in prostate cancer. Use of the PSM promoter has been advocated for gene therapy applications to drive prostate-specific gene expression. Although PSM is expressed in normal prostate as well as in primary and secondary prostatic carcinoma, different splice variants in malignant tissue afford the prospect of developing reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-based diagnostic screens for the presence of prostatic carcinoma cells in the circulation. We have undertaken characterisation of the gene for PSM in view of the protein's interesting characteristics. Unexpectedly, we have found that there are other sequences apparently related to PSM in the human genome and that PSM genomic clones map to two separate and distinct loci on human chromosome 11. Investigation of the function of putative PSM-related genes will be necessary to enable us to define fully the role of PSM itself in the development of prostatic carcinoma and in the clinical management of this malignancy.