Prostate-specific membrane antigen is produced in tumor-associated neovasculature
Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA), a type II transmembrane protein, was originally thought to be strictly expressed in prostatic tissue, but recent studies have demonstrated PSMA protein expression in nonprostatic tumor neovasculature as well. Using immunohistochemistry, reverse transcription-PCR assays, and in situ hybridization, we have demonstrated PSMA mRNA transcripts and protein expression in the endothelium of tumor-associated neovasculature of multiple nonprostatic solid malignancies. In addition, we found no PSMA mRNA or protein expression in the vascular endothelial cells of corresponding benign tissue examples. Our findings expand the possible therapeutic role of PSMA and establish it as a unique biomarker specifically produced and expressed by tumor-associated neovasculature but not produced or expressed by normal vessels.