Mitochondrial biology and prostate cancer ethnic disparity

Carcinogenesis. 2018 Dec 13;39(11):1311-1319. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgy133.


Prostate cancer remains the second most prevalent cancer in men. Its incidence, progression and mortality profiles vary significantly by race and ethnicity, with African-American men having the highest incidence rate and mortality rate in the world. Although these disparities can be partially explained by socioeconomic factors, the underlying molecular causes are complex and require careful research. A considerable amount of literature exists, supporting the association between mitochondrial health and the incidence, aggression and risk of prostate cancer. Genetic alterations in mitochondrial DNA are frequent in prostate cancer; therefore, the resulting mitochondrial dysfunction and metabolic dysregulation may contribute to or indicate oncogenesis. Many of the prominent features of cancer cells are also closely related to mitochondrial functions, such as resistance to apoptosis, excess reactive oxygen species production and altered oxidative phosphorylation. In addition, prostate cancer ethnic disparity is influenced by environmental and lifestyle factors, which involves differences in mitochondrial metabolism and retrograde signaling events.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aggression
  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Black or African American / genetics
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data*
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Environment
  • Humans
  • Life Style / ethnology
  • Male
  • Mitochondria / genetics*
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Oxidative Phosphorylation
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Socioeconomic Factors


  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Reactive Oxygen Species