Prostate Cancer


Prostate cancer is a complex disease with an etiology attributed to both genetic and environmental factors. Hereditary prostate cancer is thought to be caused by multiple high‐risk genes following a complex or polygenic pattern. Low‐risk genes may be involved in a significant proportion of sporadic prostate cancers.

Keywords: hereditary prostate cancer; genetic epidemiology; linkage analysis; high‐risk genes; association studies

Figure 1.

Ideogram of the human karyotype with localizations of susceptibility genes indicated on the left of the chromosome and susceptibility regions indicated on the right.



Berry R, Schroeder JJ, French AJ, et al. (2000) Evidence for a prostate cancer‐susceptibility locus on chromosome 20. American Journal of Human Genetics 67: 82–91.

Berthon P, Valeri A, Cohen‐Akenine A, et al. (1998) Predisposing gene for early‐onset prostate cancer, localized on chromosome 1q42.2–43. American Journal of Human Genetics 62: 1416–1424.

Carter BS, Bova GS, Beaty TH, et al. (1993) Hereditary prostate cancer: epidemiologic and clinical features. Journal of Urology 150: 797–802.

Cui J, Staples MP, Hopper JL, et al. (2001) Segregation analyses of 1,476 population‐based Australian families affected by prostate cancer. American Journal of Human Genetics 68: 1207–1218.

Gibbs M, Stanford JL, McIndoe RA, et al. (1999) Evidence for a rare prostate cancer‐susceptibility locus at chromosome 1p36. American Journal of Human Genetics 64: 776–787.

Smith JR, Freije D, Carpten JD, et al. (1996) Major susceptibility locus for prostate cancer on chromosome 1 suggested by a genome‐wide search. Science 274: 1371–1374.

Tavtigian SV, Simard J, Teng DH, et al. (2001) A candidate prostate cancer susceptibility gene at chromosome 17p. Nature Genetics 27: 172–180.

Witte JS, Goddard KAB, Conti DV, et al. (2000) Genomewide scan for prostate cancer‐aggressiveness loci. American Journal of Human Genetics 67: 92–99.

Xu J, Meyers D, Freije D, et al. (1998) Evidence for a prostate cancer susceptibility locus on the X chromosome. Nature Genetics 20: 175–179.

Further Reading

Goddard KAB, Witte JS, Suarez BK, Catalona WJ and Olson JM (2001) Model‐free linkage analysis with covariates confirms linkage of prostate cancer to chromosomes 1 and 4. American Journal of Human Genetics 68: 1197–1206.

Goode EL, Stanford L, Peters MA, et al. (2001) Clinical characteristics of prostate cancer in an analysis of linkage to four putative susceptibility loci. Clinical Cancer Research 7: 2739–2749.

Lander E and Kruglyak L (1995) Genetic dissection of complex traits: guidelines for interpreting and reporting linkage results. Nature Genetics 11: 241–247.

Narod S (1998) Genetic epidemiology of prostate cancer. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 1423: F1–F13.

Nwosu V, Carpten J, Trent MJ and Sheridan R (2001) Heterogeneity of genetic alterations in prostate cancer: evidence of the complex nature of the disease. Human Molecular Genetics 10: 2313–2318.

Ostrander EA and Stanford JL (2000) Genetics of prostate cancer: too many loci, too few genes. American Journal of Human Genetics 67: 1367–1375.

Ott J (1999) Analysis of Human Genetic Linkage. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Vogel W, Maier C and Paiss T (2001) Prostate cancer and the problem of genotype phenotype correlation. Cytogenetics and Cell Genetics 93: 162–167.

Web Links

Genew: Human Gene Nomenclature Database Search Engine. HUGO approved gene nomenclature and links to further information‐bin/nomenclature/

Androgen receptor (dihydrotestosterone receptor; testicular feminization; spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy; Kennedy disease) (AR); Locus ID: 367. LocusLink:

ElaC homolog 2 (E. coli) (ELAC2); Locus ID: 60528. LocusLink:

Hereditary prostate cancer 1 (HPC1); Locus ID: 5513. LocusLink:

Hereditary prostate cancer, X‐linked (HPCX); Locus ID: 9566. LocusLink:

Ribonuclease L (2′,5′‐oligoisoadenylate synthetase‐dependent) (RNASEL); Locus ID: 6041. LocusLink:

Androgen receptor (dihydrotestosterone receptor; testicular feminization; spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy; Kennedy disease) (AR); MIM number: 313700. OMIM:‐post/Omim/dispmim?313700

ElaC homolog 2 (E. coli) (ELAC2); MIM number: 605367. OMIM:‐post/Omim/dispmim?605367

Hereditary prostate cancer 1 (HPC1); MIM number: 601518 OMIM:‐post/Omim/dispmim?601518

Hereditary prostate cancer, X‐linked (HPCX); MIM number: 300147. OMIM:‐post/Omim/dispmim?300147

Ribonuclease L (2′,5′‐oligoisoadenylate synthetase‐dependent) (RNASEL); MIM number: 180435. OMIM:‐post/Omim/dispmim?180435

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How to Cite close
Vogel, Walther, Maier, Christiane, and Paiss, Thomas(Jan 2006) Prostate Cancer. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0006058]