Center Researchers Report Latest Prostate Cancer Research

Researchers at the UH Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling have published a new study on estrogen receptors in prostate cancer. Featured in the journal Molecular Endocrinology, "Estrogen Receptors β1 and β2 Have Opposing Roles in Regulating Proliferation and Bone Metastasis Genes in the Prostate Cancer Cell Line PC3," summarizes the potential for nuclear receptors to regulate the spread of prostate cancer.

"Estrogen receptor-beta is proven to be involved in a number of health issues, including prostate cancer," said CNRCS director Jan-Åke Gustafsson. "Cancer treatment is an international priority and estrogen receptor-beta continues to show promise as a target for cancer treatment."

The estrogen receptor of focus, estrogen receptor-beta (ERβ), was previously discovered by Gustafsson. The team’s latest findings indicate that ERβ1 inhibited the spread of cancer cells in bone metastasis, while its splice variant ERβ2 increased proliferation. The results further demonstrate the contrasting positive and negative influences of estrogen receptors in human health.

In addition to being one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers in men, prostate cancer in the advanced stage can cause skeletal complications stemming from bone metastasis. CNRCS researchers believe that drugs targeting ERβ have the potential to provide more effective treatment options for prostate cancer patients.

The paper was authored by Gustafsson, research assistant professor Anders Ström, assistant professor Cecilia Williams, Johan Hartman of the Karolinska Institutet, and graduate students Philip Jonsson and Prasenjit Dey. To view the abstract, visit The research was supported by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, the Robert A. Welch Foundation and Swedish Cancer Fund.

Molecular Endocrinology provides a forum for papers devoted to describing molecular mechanisms by which hormones and related compounds regulate function. The journal has a reputation as a high visibility research publication with rapid communication of cutting edge science.