Physical activity and prostate gene expression in men with low-risk prostate cancer

Cancer Causes Control. 2014 Apr;25(4):515-23. doi: 10.1007/s10552-014-0354-x. Epub 2014 Feb 7.


Purpose: Vigorous physical activity after diagnosis of localized prostate cancer may reduce the risk of disease progression and prostate cancer-specific mortality. The molecular mechanisms by which physical activity may exert protective effects in the prostate remain unknown.

Methods: We examined the associations between self-reported physical activity and gene expression patterns in morphologically normal prostate tissue of 71 men with low-risk prostate cancer on active surveillance. Differential gene expression, gene set, and pathway analyses were conducted comparing dichotomous groups defined by type, intensity, and amount of physical activity reported.

Results: Cell cycling and DNA repair pathways were up-regulated in men who participated in ≥ 3 h/week vigorous activity compared with men who did not. In addition, canonical pathways involved in cell signaling and metabolism, the cellular effects of sildenafil (Viagra), and the Nrf2-mediated oxidative stress response were modulated in men who reported ≥ 3 h/week of vigorous activity. Differential expression analysis at the individual gene level revealed modest differences between men who performed vigorous activity for ≥ 3 h/week and those who did not. There were no differences in prostate gene expression in comparisons with exercise groupings that did not consider both duration and intensity of activity.

Conclusions: Prostate gene expression and pathway analyses revealed sets of transcripts that may be modulated in normal prostate tissue by participating in ≥ 3 h/week of vigorous activity after diagnosis of low-risk prostate cancer. These findings suggest potential biological mechanisms by which vigorous activity may reduce risk of prostate cancer progression and warrant further study and validation.

Trial registration: NCT00402285.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity / genetics*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Self Report
  • Transcriptome

Associated data