• aspartate transport;
  • prostatic fluid;
  • prostate energy metabolism;
  • mitochondrial aspartate aminotransferase;
  • glutamate-aspartate-citrate pathway;
  • zinc metabolism


Accumulation and secretion of extraordinarily high levels of citrate are principal functions of the prostate gland of humans and other animals. To achieve this, prostate secretory cells must possess unique metabolic relationships which distinguish them from virtually all other cells. Furthermore, citrate metabolism is markedly altered in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and in prostatic carcinoma (CA). This review assimilates existing information and presents current concepts related to 1) the pathway of metabolism associated with net citrate production, 2) the involvement of transporting mechanisms associated with citrate secretion, 3) energy implications of citrate production, 4) altered metabolic relationships in BPH and CA, and 5) the importance of citrate relationships as biochemical markers for characterizing prostate secretory epithelial cells. It is hoped that this review will bring attention to the importance and urgency of elucidating and understanding the metabolic relationships associated with citrate production by normal and neoplastic prostate epithelial cells. Research in these areas has been severely neglected despite the fact that the combined incidence of BPH and CA constitutes the most prevalent neoplastic disease among men.