Ethnic and racial differences in prostate stromal estrogen receptor alpha

Prostate. 2005 Oct 1;65(2):101-9. doi: 10.1002/pros.20272.


Background: Prostate cancer incidence and mortality rates vary widely among individuals of different ethnic/racial groups. We identified a relationship between a subset of genes and race/ethnicity using gene expression profiling. Estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) was selected for confirmation due to its plausible biological role in cancer susceptibility.

Methods: Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (Q-PCR) was used to verify gene expression results. Protein levels of ERalpha were determined by quantitative immunohistochemistry in a large-scale tissue microarray study (n = 183).

Results: ERalpha was significantly higher in stroma of Hispanic and Asian men than in Caucasian (P < 0.0001) and African American men (P < 0.0002), who are at higher risk for prostate cancer. In addition, large differences were seen in Q-PCR levels of ERalpha in prostate tissues of organ donors 16-29 years old who had no evidence of cancer.

Conclusions: ERalpha exhibits variable expression in men of difference racial/ethnic background. Understanding the molecular basis for these differences may form the basis for prostate cancer prevention strategies with widespread public health impact.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Estrogen Receptor alpha / biosynthesis
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha / genetics*
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha / physiology
  • Ethnicity*
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Prostate / physiology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Racial Groups*
  • Stromal Cells / physiology


  • Estrogen Receptor alpha