Deletions on human chromosome 8p22-23 in prostate cancer cells and linkage studies in families affected with hereditary prostate cancer (HPC) have implicated this region in the development of prostate cancer. The macrophage scavenger receptor 1 gene (MSR1, also known as SR-A) is located at 8p22 and functions in several processes proposed to be relevant to prostate carcinogenesis. Here we report the results of genetic analyses that indicate that mutations in MSR1 may be associated with risk of prostate cancer. Among families affected with HPC, we identified six rare missense mutations and one nonsense mutation in MSR1. A family-based linkage and association test indicated that these mutations co-segregate with prostate cancer (P = 0.0007). In addition, among men of European descent, MSR1 mutations were detected in 4.4% of individuals affected with non-HPC as compared with 0.8% of unaffected men (P = 0.009). Among African American men, these values were 12.5% and 1.8%, respectively (P = 0.01). These results show that MSR1 may be important in susceptibility to prostate cancer in men of both African American and European descent.