Prostate-specific membrane antigen

Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) (also known as glutamate carboxypeptidase II) is a type II transmembrane glycoprotein that has become an increasingly prominent imaging biomarker 1. PSMA has emerged as a useful target in PET imaging of prostate cancer, especially in the evaluation of small volume lymph node and bone metastases 2.

Its structure consists of 750 amino acids (100-120 kDa), with a 19-amino acid intracellular segment, a 24-amino acid intramembrane component and a 707-amino acid extracellular domain 1. PSMA is encoded by a gene (FOLH1) located on the short arm of chromosome 11 7.


  • significantly overexpressed in prostate cancer tissue 2
  • expression is positively correlated with tumour grade, pathological stage and degree of disease recurrence 2
  • PSMA is internalised upon binding, resulting in enhanced tumour uptake and retention 3
  • ideal target for small-molecule radiopharmaceuticals 3


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Article information

rID: 54101
Section: Pathology
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • PSMA
  • Glutamate carboxypeptidase II

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