Precursors of prostate-specific antigen (proPSA) have been previously shown to be more concentrated in prostate cancer tissue. This study characterizes the immunohistochemical staining (IHS) of proPSA forms in metastatic prostate cancer compared with prostate specific antigen (PSA) and prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP). A tissue microarray, consisting of 74 cases of metastatic prostate carcinoma and control tissues, was used. IHS, using monoclonal antibodies against proPSA with a truncated proleader peptide containing 2 amino acids ([-2]pPSA), native ([-5/-7]pPSA), PSA, and PAP, was analyzed. The monoclonal antibodies were specific for both benign and malignant prostatic glandular tissue. IHS with [-5/-7]pPSA showed the least number of cases with negative staining (3%), and the most number of cases with moderate or strong staining (76%). In the 60 cases where all 4 stains could be evaluated, none of them were negative for proPSA and positive for PSA or PAP, and all 7 cases that were negative for both PSA and PAP showed IHS to proPSA. [-5/-7]pPSA (native proPSA) may be a better marker than PSA and PAP in characterizing metastatic prostate adenocarcinoma, with most of the cases showing positivity for the marker. Even cases that were negative for PSA and PAP, were reactive for proPSA. Such enhanced detection is particularly important in poorly differentiated carcinomas involving metastatic sites where prostate carcinoma is a consideration. A panel of markers, including proPSA, should be performed when metastatic prostate carcinoma is in the differential diagnosis.