Current concepts and significance of estrogen receptor β in prostate cancer

Steroids. 2012 Oct;77(12):1262-6. doi: 10.1016/j.steroids.2012.07.002. Epub 2012 Jul 20.


An increasing amount of evidence points at important roles for estrogen receptors in prostate carcinogenesis and progression. Of the two estrogen receptors, estrogen receptor β is the most prominent within the prostate gland. Although there is much yet to be known, the findings from the discovery of the receptor in 1996 until now point at a role of the receptor in maintaining differentiation and reducing cellular proliferation in the prostate. Moreover, estrogen receptor β is the main target for phytoestrogens, perhaps at least partially explaining the difference in incidence of prostate cancer in the Western world compared to Asia where the intake of soy-based, phytoestrogen-rich food is higher. The tumor suppressive capability of estrogen receptor β makes it a promising drug target for the treatment and prevention of prostate cancer. This review will focus on different aspects of estrogen receptor signaling and prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Progression
  • Estrogen Receptor beta / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phytoestrogens / pharmacology
  • Prostate / drug effects
  • Prostate / growth & development
  • Prostate / metabolism
  • Prostate / physiopathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy


  • Estrogen Receptor beta
  • Phytoestrogens