Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are potential regulators of prostate cancer cell growth and metastasis that signal through an interaction with BMP membrane receptors (BMPRs) type I and type II. In the present study, Western blot and immunohistochemical analysis of BMPRs were carried out in benign and malignant human prostate tissues to explain the loss of BMP response in human prostate cancer cells. The results demonstrated that the benign prostate specimens expressed high levels of all three BMPRs. In normal prostate, BMPRs were localized predominantly to epithelial cells. Among prostate cancer specimens, well-differentiated cancers were positive for the expression of BMPR-II, BMPR-IA, and BMPR-IB, for the most part. In contrast, only 1 of 10 poorly differentiated prostate cancer cases was positive for each of the three BMPRs (P < 0.005 for all three receptors). Taken together, these results indicate that human prostate cancer cells frequently exhibit loss of expression of BMPRs and suggest that loss of BMPRs may play an important role during the progression of prostate cancer.