The homodimer of prostate-specific membrane antigen is a functional target for cancer therapy.
ABSTRACT: Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is a type 2 integral membrane glycoprotein that serves as an attractive target for cancer immunotherapy by virtue of its abundant and restricted expression on the surface of prostate carcinomas and the neovasculature of most other solid tumors. However, relatively little is known about the molecular structure of this target. Here, we report that PSMA is expressed on tumor cells as a noncovalent homodimer. A truncated PSMA protein, lacking transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains, also formed homodimers, indicating that the extracellular domain is sufficient for dimerization. PSMA dimers but not monomers displayed a native conformation and possessed high-level carboxypeptidase activity. A unique dimer-specific epitope was identified by using one of a panel of novel mAbs. When used to immunize animals, dimer but not monomer elicited antibodies that efficiently recognized PSMA-expressing tumor cells. These findings on PSMA structure and biology may have important implications for active and passive immunotherapy of prostate and other cancers.
Project description:Prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) otherwise known as glutamate carboxypeptidase II (GCPII) is a membrane bound protein that is highly expressed in prostate cancer and in the neovasculature of a wide variety of tumours including glioblastomas, breast and bladder cancers. This protein is also involved in a variety of neurological diseases including schizophrenia and ALS. In recent years, there has been a surge in the development of both diagnostics and therapeutics that take advantage of the expression and activity of PSMA/GCPII. These include gene therapy, immunotherapy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In this review, we discuss the biological roles that PSMA/GCPII plays, both in normal and diseased tissues, and the current therapies exploiting its activity that are at the preclinical stage. We conclude by giving an expert opinion on the future direction of PSMA/GCPII based therapies and diagnostics and hurdles that need to be overcome to make them effective and viable.
Project description:Despite a multitude of detection and treatment advances in the past 2 decades, prostate cancer remains the second leading cause of deaths due to cancer among men in the United States. Technological evolution and expanding knowledge of tumor biomarkers have invigorated exploration in prostate cancer therapeutics. Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) was one of the first prostate cancer biomarkers successfully cloned. Since then, it has been characterized as the prototypical cell-surface marker for prostate cancer and has been the subject of intense clinical inquiry. In this article, we review the relevant research in PSMA on the 20th anniversary of its cloning.A PubMed search using the keywords "prostate-specific membrane antigen" or "glutamate carboxypeptidase II" provided 1019 results. An additional 3 abstracts were included from scientific meetings. Articles were vetted by title and abstract with emphasis placed on those with clinically relevant findings.Sixty articles were selected for inclusion. PSMA was discovered and cloned in 1993. Its structure and function were further delineated in the ensuing decade. Consensus sites of expression in normal physiology are prostate, kidney, nervous system, and small intestine. PSMA has been implicated in the neovasculature of several tumors including urothelial and renal cell carcinomas. In prostate cancer, expression of PSMA is directly related to the Gleason grade. PSMA has been tested both in imaging and therapeutics in a number of prostate cancer clinical trials. Several recent approaches to target PSMA include the use of small molecule inhibitors, PSMA-based immunotherapy, RNA aptamer conjugates, and PSMA-targeted prodrug therapy. Future study of PSMA in prostate cancer might focus on its intracellular functions and possible role in tumor neurogenesis.Twenty years from its discovery, PSMA represents a viable biomarker and treatment target in prostate cancer. Research to delineate its precise role in prostate carcinogenesis and within the therapeutic armamentarium for patients with prostate cancer remains encouraging.
Project description:Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is highly expressed in prostate cancer cells and nonprostatic solid tumor neovasculature and is a target for anticancer imaging and therapeutic agents. PSMA acts as a glutamate carboxypeptidase (GCPII) on small molecule substrates, including folate, the anticancer drug methotrexate, and the neuropeptide N-acetyl-l-aspartyl-l-glutamate. Here we present the 3.5-A crystal structure of the PSMA ectodomain, which reveals a homodimer with structural similarity to transferrin receptor, a receptor for iron-loaded transferrin that lacks protease activity. Unlike transferrin receptor, the protease domain of PSMA contains a binuclear zinc site, catalytic residues, and a proposed substrate-binding arginine patch. Elucidation of the PSMA structure combined with docking studies and a proposed catalytic mechanism provides insight into the recognition of inhibitors and the natural substrate N-acetyl-l-aspartyl-l-glutamate. The PSMA structure will facilitate development of chemotherapeutics, cancer-imaging agents, and agents for treatment of neurological disorders.
Project description:The rising incidence rate of the cancer in the prostate gland has increased the demand for improved diagnostic, imaging, and therapeutic approaches. Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA), with folate hydrolase and carboxypeptidase and, internalization activities, is highly expressed in the epithelial cells of the prostate gland and is strongly upregulated in prostatic adenocarcinoma, with elevated expression correlating with, metastasis, progression, and androgen independence. Recently, PSMA has been an active target of investigation by several approaches, including the successful utilization of small molecule inhibitors, RNA aptamer conjugates, PSMA-based immunotherapy, and PSMA-targeted prodrug therapy. Future investigations of PSMA in prostate cancer (PCa) should focus in particular on its intracellular activities and functions. The objective of this contribution is to review the current role of PSMA as a marker for PCa diagnosis, imaging, and therapy.
Project description:<h4>Aim</h4>PSMA (prostate-specific membrane antigen) is physiologically expressed in normal prostate tissue and over expressed in prostate cancer cells, therefore constituting a potential target for antibody-based radioligand therapy. Very recent imaging findings reported PSMA-PET/CT uptake in various thyroid lesions. We were therefore encouraged to systematically analyse PSMA expression in different benign and malignant thyroid lesions.<h4>Methods</h4>Immunohistochemistry was used to detect PSMA expression in 101 thyroid lesions, while neovasculature was identified by CD34 immunostaining.<h4>Results</h4>PSMA expression in the neovasculature was significantly more frequent in malignant tumors (36/63; 57.1%) compared to benign diseases (5/38; 13.2%; <i>p</i> = 0.0001). In addition, PSMA expression levels in the neovasculature of poorly and undifferentiated thyroid cancers were significantly higher compared to differentiated thyroid tumors (<i>p</i> = 0.021). However, one case with a strong expression in follicular adenoma was identified.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We conclude that neovascular PSMA expression is common in thyroid cancer but may also rarely be found in benign thyroid diseases, such as follicular adenoma. High expression in the tumor-associated neovasculature is predominantly found in poorly differentiated and undifferentiated (anaplastic) thyroid cancer. This knowledge is highly relevant when interpreting PSMA/PET-CT scans from patients with prostate cancer. In addition, our findings might provide a rationale for further evaluation of PSMA-targeted anti-neovascular or radioligand therapy in metastatic dedifferentiated thyroid cancer.
Project description:PSMA (prostate specific membrane antigen) is physiologically expressed in normal prostate tissue. It is overexpressed in prostate cancer cells and has been suggested as a target for antibody-based radioligand therapy. As PSMA expression so far has not been systematically analyzed in soft tissue tumors, the current study aims at investigating a large cohort of different subtypes.Immunohistochemistry was used to detect PSMA expression in 779 samples of soft tissue tumors and Ewing sarcoma as a primary bone malignancy. CD34 coexpression was employed to study PSMA expression in the neovasculature. PSMA expression was found in the tumor-associated neovasculature of 151/779 soft tissue/bone tumors (19.38%) and was more frequent in malignant tumors compared to tumors with intermediate or benign biological potential (p=0.078). Strong neovascular PSMA expression was predominantly observed in subsets of different sarcomas including 3/20 rhabdomyosarcomas (15%), 4/21 malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (19.05%), 6/16 synovial sarcomas (35.29%) and 6/33 undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcomas (18.18%).We conclude that PSMA is expressed in the neovasculature of a subset of soft tissue tumors to a variable extent. Our observation of strong PSMA expression predominantly occurring in sarcomas might provide a rationale to evaluate PSMA-targeted radioligand therapy in these entities.
Project description:Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is highly expressed in prostate cancer and within the neovasculature of other solid tumors. The nonprostatic expression of PSMA has been reported exclusively within the neovasculature endothelial cells of nonprostatic cancers; however, there are few reports on PSMA expression in epithelial cells. Herein, we describe PSMA expression in nonprostatic epithelial cells and characterize the potential of PSMA-binding agents to noninvasively detect that expression. <b>Methods:</b> PSMA expression data were extracted from publicly available genomic databases. Genomic data were experimentally validated for PSMA expression-by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, flow cytometry, and Western blotting-in several nonprostatic cell lines and xenografts of melanoma and small cell lung cancer (SCLC) origin. The feasibility of PSMA detection in those tumor models was further established using PSMA-based nuclear and optical imaging agents and by biodistribution, blocking, and ex vivo molecular characterization studies. <b>Results:</b> We discovered that a small percentage of nonprostatic cancer cell lines and tumors express PSMA. Importantly, PSMA expression was sufficiently high to image established melanoma and SCLC xenografts using PSMA-based nuclear and optical imaging agents. <b>Conclusion:</b> These results indicate that PSMA expression in nonprostatic tumors may not be limited to the endothelium but may also include solid tumor tissue of nonprostatic cancers including melanoma and SCLC. Our observations indicate broader applicability of PSMA-targeted imaging and therapeutics.
Project description:In the past decade, a growing body of literature has reported promising results for prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-targeted radionuclide imaging and therapy in prostate cancer. First clinical studies evaluating the efficacy of [<sup>177</sup>Lu]Lu-PSMA radioligand therapy (PSMA-RLT) demonstrated favorable results in prostate cancer patients. [<sup>177</sup>Lu]Lu-PSMA is generally well tolerated due to its limited side effects. While PSMA is highly overexpressed in prostate cancer cells, varying degrees of PSMA expression have been reported in other malignancies as well, particularly in the tumor-associated neovasculature. Hence, it is anticipated that PSMA-RLT could be explored for other solid cancers. Here, we describe the current knowledge of PSMA expression in other solid cancers and define a perspective towards broader clinical implementation of PSMA-RLT. This review focuses specifically on salivary gland cancer, glioblastoma, thyroid cancer, renal cell carcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, lung cancer, and breast cancer. An overview of the (pre)clinical data on PSMA immunohistochemistry and PSMA PET/CT imaging is provided and summarized. Furthermore, the first clinical reports of non-prostate cancer patients treated with PSMA-RLT are described.
Project description:<h4>Objectives</h4>PSMA (prostate-specific membrane antigen) is overexpressed in prostate cancer cells and is reported to be a promising target for antibody-based radioligand therapy in patients with metastasized prostate cancer. Since PSMA expression is not restricted to prostate cancer, the underlying study investigates PSMA expression in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).<h4>Material and methods</h4>Immunohistochemistry was used to identify PSMA expression in n = 275 samples of NSCLC tissue specimens. By means of CD34 co-expression, the level of PSMA expression in tumor associated neovasculature was investigated. The impact of PSMA expression on clinicopathologic parameters and prognosis was evaluated.<h4>Results</h4>PSMA tumor cell expression in NSCLC is as low as 6% and was predominantly found in squamous cell carcinoma (p = 0.002). Neovascular PSMA expression was found in 49% of NSCLC. High neovascular PSMA expression was associated with higher tumor grading (G3/G4) (p < 0.001). Neither for PSMA tumor cell expression, nor for PSMA neovascular cell expression prognostic effects were found for the investigated NSCLC cases.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Here, we report on the expression of PSMA in NSCLC tissue samples. Against the background of a potential treatment with radiolabeled PSMA ligands, our data might serve for the future identification of patients who could benefit from this therapeutic option.
Project description:The prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is an established target for the delivery of cancer therapeutic and imaging agents due to its high expression on the surface of prostate cancer cells and within the neovasculature of other solid tumors. Here, we describe the synthesis and screening of antibody-conjugated silica-coated iron oxide nanoparticles for PSMA-specific cell targeting. The humanized anti-PSMA antibody, HuJ591, was conjugated to a series of nanoparticles with varying densities of polyethylene glycol and primary amine groups. Customized assays utilizing iron spectral absorbance and enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) were developed to screen microgram quantities of nanoparticle formulations for immunoreactivity and cell targeting ability. Antibody and PSMA-specific targeting of the optimized nanoparticle was evaluated using an isogenic PSMA-positive and PSMA-negative cell line pair. Specific nanoparticle targeting was confirmed by iron quantification with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). These methods and nanoparticles support the promise of targeted theranostic agents for future treatment of prostate and other cancers.