Prostate-specific antigen (PSA or kallikrein-related peptidase-3, KLK3) exerts chymotrypsin-like proteolytic activity. The main biological function of PSA is the liquefaction of the clot formed after ejaculation by cleavage of semenogelins I and II in seminal fluid. PSA also cleaves several other substrates, which may explain its putative functions in prostate cancer and its antiangiogenic activity. We compared the proteolytic efficiency of PSA towards several protein and peptide substrates and studied the effect of peptides stimulating the activity of PSA with these substrates. An endothelial cell tube formation model was used to analyze the effect of PSA-degraded protein fragments on angiogenesis. We showed that PSA degrades semenogelins I and II much more efficiently than other previously identified protein substrates, e.g., fibronectin, galectin-3 and IGFBP-3. We identified nidogen-1 as a new substrate for PSA. Peptides B2 and C4 that stimulate the activity of PSA towards small peptide substrates also enhanced the proteolytic activity of PSA towards protein substrates. Nidogen-1, galectin-3 or their fragments produced by PSA did not have any effect on endothelial cell tube formation. Although PSA cleaves several other protein substrates, in addition to semenogelins, the physiological importance of this activity remains speculative. The PSA levels in prostate are very high, but several other highly active proteases, such as hK2 and trypsin, are also expressed in the prostate and may cleave protein substrates that are weakly cleaved by PSA.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Medicinal Chemistry