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Clin Chim Acta. 2012 Oct 9;413(19-20):1500-5. doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2012.06.007. Epub 2012 Jun 18.

Glycosylation of prostate specific antigen and its potential diagnostic applications.

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Department of Medical Oncology, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.


Prostate specific antigen (PSA) assays are widely used for early detection of prostate cancer. However, those analyses are associated with considerable sensitivity and specificity problems. Several approaches have been developed to tackle this issue. PSA is a glycoprotein, which is primarily produced by the prostatic epithelial cells. Aberrant glycosylation modification of proteins is a fundamental characteristic of tumorigenesis. Study of PSA glycoforms offers interesting diagnostic perspectives. Modern technology allows us to analyze PSA glycoforms in a variety of clinical samples (serum or plasma, urine, seminal fluid, tissue). A number of novel techniques, such as lectin-based detection methods, mass spectrometry, 2-dimensional electrophoresis and capillary electrophoresis have been developed to analyze PSA glycosylation. This article reviews the technical and diagnostic aspects of PSA glycoforms.

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