Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide and the second most common form of cancer and cancer death in men in America. There is a large degree of heterogeneity amongst prostate cancers, both between individual cases and within more specific categories of disease progression, which complicates treatment and further research. Initial diagnosis utilizes immunohistochemistry to determine if a tumor is invasive and if it will respond to androgen therapy.

Research Areas
Literature (12)
Pathways (1)

Localized prostate cancer grows slowly and may not need treatment, or it can be managed with surgery. However, if the cancer grows and metastasizes, primary androgen therapy can be administered to act at androgen receptors and suppress the release of androgens. The same approach can be used in prostate cancer research, for example, Goserelin acetate (Cat. No. 3592) is a synthetic gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analog that behaves as an agonist at the GnRH receptors. It stimulates gonadotropin and sex hormone release in the short term and suppresses prostate cancer tumor growth with continued administration. Prostate cancer that is resistant to primary androgen therapy, a state known as metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), can be treated with second generation androgen deprivation therapy. To simulate this process in research, the enzyme inhibitor Abiraterone acetate (Cat. No. 6520) can be used, which inhibits CYP450 enzymes involved in the synthesis of androgens.

Prostate cancer cells demonstrate many of the same genetic and metabolic changes as other cancer types, such as an increased requirement for nutrients to promote rapid growth. However, there are also some more specific metabolic, enzyme and genetic prostate cancer markers that are the subject of further research. For example, the cells of the most common form of prostate cancer, acinar adenocarcinoma, accumulate large reservoirs of zinc and, unlike other solid tumors, prostate cancer tends to rely more heavily on anaplerosis (TCA cycle) for amino acid metabolism and have elevated TCA cycle intermediates, this compares to a focus solely on energy production from anaplerosis in other cancers.

Other metabolic alterations in prostate cancer include: upregulation of phosophoglycerate dehydrogenase, increased glycolysis due to activation of GLUT1, increased hexokinase 1/2 activity and expression, and the upregulation of G6PD in response to mTOR.

Genetic alterations in prostate cancer include up- and down-regulation of specific genes; for example, AURKA and MYCN are amplified, but there is loss of function of RB1 and TP53/p53 and loss of PTEN. The aurora kinases encoded by AURKA gene are involved in mitosis and MYCN encodes a nuclear protein that drives cell growth and proliferation. RB1 and TP53 are both tumor suppressor genes and PTEN loss leads to hyperactivation of PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling and is found in almost half of mCRPC tumors.


Prostate Cancer Tumor Progression

Prostate Cancer Tumor Progression

Figure 1: Prostate cancer tumor progression Schematic showing the progression of prostate cancer from normal tissue (left) through to metastatic disease (right).


Prostate Cancer Research Targets

Prostate cancer marker Tumor change or target Tumor progression and targets for research
Metabolic Citrate-oriented in normal prostate Oxidative phosphorylation, lipogenesis (FASN and lipid metabolism), increased glycolysis
  Hypoxia – angiogenesis and aggressive tumor growth (HIFs)
Genetic Loss or loss of function PTEN loss, loss of function of RB1 and TP53/p53
Upregulation Aurora kinases; MYC
Epigenetic or transcription factors Methylation, microRNA, histone modifications EZH2 overexpression, bromodomains 
Enzymes Overexpression Methyltransferases, hexokinases, G6PD, PI3K, AKT, mTOR, cytochrome P450, matrix metalloproteinases, HDAC1
Androgen receptor Progressive dysregulation Receptor downregulation (PROTAC® degraders and targeted protein degradation); Wnt signalling, β-catenin
Other targets   RAF, OCT4, BRD4

New and Top Products for Prostate Cancer Research

Click product name to view details and order

Target Top Products New Products
AKT1 Akti-1/2, SC 79 AT 7867
AR Cl-4AS-1, GSK 650394 ARCC 4 (PROTAC®)
AURKA Lestaurtinib, Anacardic acid  
CTNNB1 endo-IWR 1, XAV 939 (GMP version available) FzM1.8
CYP17A1 Abiraterone acetate  
ERG ERGi-USU  
EZH2 3-Deazaneplanocin A hydrochloride, UNC 1999 JQEZ5
NR3C1 Gap 27, Hydrocortisone Alsterpaullone
GSK-3B CHIR 99021, SB 216763  
HSPA5 Pifithrin-μ, VER 155008  
MYC 10058-F4, KJ Pyr 9  
NCOA1 Lys-CoA  
PIK3CA/PIK3CB LY 294002 hydrochloride, Wortmannin Omipalisib
TMPRSS2 Nafamostat mesylate  
FOXM1   RCM 1
BRD4 MZ 1, (+)-JQ1 AT 1 (PROTAC®)
CUL3   WS 383
BMI1 PRT 4165  
Asah1 Oleylethanolamide  
FOXA1 (+)-JQ1  
ABCG2   Kyoto Probe-1
NR2F2   CIA 1

PROTAC® is a registered trademark of Arvinas Operations, Inc., and is used under license.

Literature for Prostate Cancer

Tocris offers the following scientific literature for Prostate Cancer to showcase our products. We invite you to request* or download your copy today!

*Please note that Tocris will only send literature to established scientific business / institute addresses.


Cancer Research Product Guide

Cancer Research Product Guide

A collection of over 750 products for cancer research, the guide includes research tools for the study of:

  • Cancer Metabolism
  • Epigenetics in Cancer
  • Receptor Signaling
  • Cell Cycle and DNA Damage Repair
  • Angiogenesis
  • Invasion and Metastasis
Cell Cycle and DNA Damage Research Product Guide

Cell Cycle and DNA Damage Research Product Guide

This product guide provides a review of the cell cycle and DNA damage research area and lists over 170 products, including research tools for:

  • Cell Cycle and Mitosis
  • DNA Damage Repair
  • Targeted Protein Degradation
  • Ubiquitin Proteasome Pathway
  • Chemotherapy Targets
Stem Cell Research Product Guide

Stem Cell Research Product Guide

This product guide provides a background to the use of small molecules in stem cell research and lists over 200 products for use in:

  • Self-renewal and Maintenance
  • Differentiation
  • Reprogramming
  • Organoid Generation
  • GMP and Ancillary Material Grade Products
Targeted Protein Degradation Research Product Guide

Targeted Protein Degradation Research Product Guide

This brochure highlights the tools and services available from Bio-Techne to support Targeted Protein Degradation research, including:

  • Active Degraders
  • TAG Degradation Platform
  • Degrader Building Blocks
  • Ubiquitin-Proteasome System Proteins
  • Assays for Protein Degradation
Autophagy Scientific Review

Autophagy Scientific Review

Written by Patricia Boya and Patrice Codogno, this review summarizes the molecular mechanisms, physiology and pathology of autophagy. The role of autophagy in cell death and its links to disease are also discussed. Compounds available from Tocris are listed.

MAPK Signaling Scientific Review

MAPK Signaling Scientific Review

MAP kinase signaling is integral to the regulation of numerous cellular processes such as proliferation and differentiation, and as a result is an important focus of cancer and immunology research. Updated for 2016, this review discusses the regulation of the MAPK pathway and properties of MAPK cascades. Compounds available from Tocris are listed.

Epigenetics Research Bulletin

Epigenetics Research Bulletin

Produced by Tocris and updated in 2014, the epigenetics research bulletin gives an introduction into mechanisms of epigenetic regulation, and highlights key Tocris products for epigenetics targets including:

  • Bromodomains
  • DNA Methyltransferases
  • Histone Deacetylases
  • Histone Demethylases
  • Histone Methyltransferases
Angiogenesis in Cancer Poster

Angiogenesis in Cancer Poster

Adapted from the 2015 Cancer Product Guide, Edition 3, this poster summarizes the pathogenesis of angiogenesis in cancer, as well as some of the main angiogenesis therapeutic targets.

Autophagy Poster

Autophagy Poster

Autophagy is a cellular process used by cells for degradation and recycling. Written by Patricia Boya and Patrice Codogno, this poster summarizes the molecular machinery, physiology and pathology of autophagy. Compounds available from Tocris are listed.

Cancer Metabolism Poster

Cancer Metabolism Poster

Adapted from the 2015 Cancer Product Guide, Edition 3, this poster summarizes the main targets for cancer metabolism researchers. Genetic changes and epigenetic modifications in cancer cells alter the regulation of cellular metabolic pathways. These distinct metabolic circuits could provide viable cancer therapeutic targets.

Epigenetics in Cancer Poster

Epigenetics in Cancer Poster

Adapted from the 2015 Cancer Product Guide Edition 3, this poster summarizes the main epigenetic targets in cancer. The dysregulation of epigenetic modifications has been shown to result in oncogenesis and cancer progression. Unlike genetic mutations, epigenetic alterations are considered to be reversible and thus make promising therapeutic targets.

Programmed Cell Death Poster

Programmed Cell Death Poster

There are two currently recognized forms of programmed cell death: apoptosis and necroptosis. This poster summarizes the signaling pathways involved in apoptosis, necroptosis and cell survival following death receptor activation, and highlights the influence of the molecular switch, cFLIP, on cell fate.

Pathways for Prostate Cancer

Akt Signaling Pathway

Akt Signaling Pathway

The Akt signaling pathway plays a key role in the mediation of protein synthesis, metabolism, proliferation and cell cycle progression. It may be referred to as a 'prosurvival' pathway.