Highly sensitive automated chemiluminometric assay for measuring free human glandular kallikrein-2

George G. Klee, Marcia K. Goodmanson, Steven J. Jacobsen, Charles Y.F. Young, Judith A. Finlay, Harry G. Rittenhouse, Robert L. Wolfert, Donald J. Tindall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Background: Human glandular kallikrein (hK2) is a serine protease that has 79% amino acid identity with prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Both free hK2 and hK2 complexed to α1-antichymotrypsin (ACT) are present in the blood in low concentrations. We wished to measure hK2 in serum with limited contribution from hK2-ACT for the results. Methods: We developed an automated assay for hK2 with use of a select pair of monoclonal antibodies. The prototype assay was implemented on a Beckman Coulter ACCESS® analyzer. Results: The detection limit of the assay was 1.5 ng/L, the 'functional sensitivity' (day-to-day CV <15%) was <4 ng/L, cross-reactivity with PSA and PSA-ACT was negligible, and cross-reactivity with hK2-ACT was 2%. After surgical removal of prostate glands, serum hK2 was <7 ng/L and was <15 ng/L in most healthy women. The median serum concentration of hK2 in healthy men without prostate cancer was 26 ng/L. The median concentration of hK2 was 72 ng/L for men having prostate cancer with lower Gleason scores compared with 116 ng/L for men with more advanced cancer. The concentration of hK2 correlated weakly with PSA, with the mean hK2 concentrations generally 30- to 80-fold lower than PSA concentrations. Conclusion: The availability of a robust, high sensitivity automated assay for hK2 should facilitate further investigations of the role of hK2 measurements in the management of patients with prostate disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)800-806
Number of pages7
JournalClinical chemistry
Issue number6 I
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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