Anti-PSMA immunotoxin as novel treatment for prostate cancer? High and specific antitumor activity on human prostate xenograft tumors in SCID mice

Philipp Wolf, Karen Alt, Patrick Bühler, Arndt Katzenwadel, Ulrich Wetterauer, Marlene Tacke, Ursula Elsässer-Beile

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BACKGROUND. Expression of the prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is highly restricted to prostate epithelial cells. Therefore, toxin-based immunotherapy against this antigen may represent an alternative therapeutic option for prostate cancer. For these purposes, the effects of the recombinant anti-PSMA immunotoxin A5-PE40 on prostate tumor growth were investigated in vitro and in vivo. METHODS. The in vitro binding and cytotoxicity of A5-PE40 were tested on the PSMA-expressing prostate cancer cell line C4-2 and on the PSMA-negative cell line DU145 by flow cytometry and WST assays. The binding of the immunotoxin to SCID mouse xenografts and to various mouse organs was examined by Western blot analysis. In vivo, the antitumor activity of the immunotoxin was tested by injecting A5-PE40 in mice bearing C4-2 or DU145 xenografts. RESULTS. In vitro, a specific binding of A5-PE40 to C4-2 cells could be shown with a concentration-dependent cytotoxicity (IC50 value = 220 pM). In the next step, a specific binding of the immunotoxin to C4-2 xenografts could be demonstrated. In contrast, no binding on mouse organs expressing high homologous mouse PSMA was found. The treatment of mice with C4-2 tumors caused a significant inhibition of tumor growth in vivo, whereas DU145 xenografts remained totally unaffected. CONCLUSIONS. A5-PE40 represents a recombinant anti-PSMA immunotoxin with potent antitumor activity in mice bearing human prostate cancer xenograft tumors. Therefore, A5-PE40 could be a promising candidate for therapeutic applications in patients with prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-138
Number of pages10
JournalThe Prostate
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Immunotherapy
  • Prostate cancer
  • Pseudomonas exotoxin A
  • PSMA
  • Recombinant immunotoxin

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