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BACKGROUND: Protein C inhibitor (PCI) occurs at high concentration in seminal plasma, and inhibits human glandular kallikrein-2 and, less readily, prostate-specific antigen. Previous studies have localized PCI in the male genital tract. Here we have performed a detailed investigation of PCI expression in the prostatic tissues, metastases, and cell lines. METHODS: Immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, and Western blotting were used to study prostatic tissues, metastases, and PC-3, DU-145, and LNCaP cells. RESULTS: PCI was immunolocalized in tissue microarray spots with BPH epithelium (detection rate 100%), PIN lesions (100%), tumors (96%), metastases (88%), and in all cell lines. ISH and WB supported the findings. CONCLUSIONS: PCI is widely expressed in benign prostatic epithelium, and may act as a local regulator of enzymatic activity in seminal fluid, of importance for normal sperm function. Lack of PCI expression in a subpopulation of high-grade tumor cells in combination with maintained protease expression may facilitate invasive growth patterns.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





196 - 204


Androgens, Blotting, Western, Carcinoma, Cell Line, Tumor, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, In Situ Hybridization, Male, Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent, Prostate-Specific Antigen, Prostatic Hyperplasia, Prostatic Neoplasms, Protein C Inhibitor, RNA, Neoplasm