Involvement of the estrogen receptor beta in genistein-induced expression of p21(waf1/cip1) in PC-3 prostate cancer cells

Anticancer Res. Mar-Apr 2008;28(2A):709-14.


Background: Dietary genistein, a phytoestrogen derived from soybean, has been suggested as a chemopreventive agent for prostate cancer. Genistein has been reported to exert its anticancer effects via a variety of functional pathways, but the upstream signaling of molecules regulated by genistein remains unclear. In this study, estrogen receptor (ER) beta involvement in genistein-induced expression of cell cycle inhibitors in PC-3 prostate cancer cells was investigated.

Materials and methods: The proliferation of PC-3 cells exposed to genistein was measured by the water-soluble tetrazolium salt (WST-1) proliferation assay. The expression of p21, p27 and ERbeta in the PC-3 cells was assessed by quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR. ERbeta silencing was performed using a small interfering RNA (siRNA). The transcriptional activity of the p21 promoter was determined by the luciferase reporter assay.

Results: Genistein caused marked inhibition of proliferative activity and induced the expression of p21 and ERbeta in the PC-3 cells. The siRNA against ERbeta suppressed the genistein-induced expression of p21 and reduced the transactivation activity of the p21 promoter induced by genistein.

Conclusion: ERbeta is involved in genistein-induced expression of p21 in PC-3 cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21 / genetics*
  • Estrogen Receptor beta / physiology*
  • Gene Expression
  • Genistein / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • CDKN1A protein, human
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • Estrogen Receptor beta
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Genistein