Mammary Serine Protease Inhibitor (Maspin) is a unique member of the serpin family with tumor suppressive properties. Maspin is a secreted protein encoded by a class II tumor suppressor gene, expressed in normal prostate luminal and basal cells but reduced or absent in prostate cancer. Currently, there is a consensus that maspin expression in prostate cancer is an indicator of a better prognosis and is a predictive marker for therapeutic response in prostate cancer. Experimental evidence consistently indicates that maspin suppresses tumor growth, invasion, and metastasis and promotes apoptosis in cancer cells. In this chapter, we discuss regulation of maspin expression, binding partners of maspin, and pathways through which maspin exerts its tumor suppressive properties. In addition, we summarize the progress that investigators have made in clarifying the role of maspin in prostate cancer biology and in assessing its role as a diagnostic marker and therapeutic agent.
Part of the book: Prostate Cancer