Androgens are essential for normal prostate physiology and are intimately associated with the growth and progression of prostate cancer. However, few androgen regulated genes in the prostate have been identified. Using the mRNA differential display technique a 164-bp cDNA fragment was identified as being androgen regulated in the human prostate. Nucleotide sequence analysis of this fragment revealed 84% homology with the gene encoding the cytoskeletal protein talin. Confirmation of the androgen regulation of this gene was carried out using Northern analysis. Primary prostatic stromal cells treated with conditioned medium (CM) from androgen-treated primary prostatic epithelial cells showed an approximate 2-fold reduction in talin mRNA levels compared with stromal cells treated with CM from epithelial cells not exposed to androgens. Expression of talin mRNA in human prostatic tissue was confirmed by in situ hybridisation. The highest levels of expression were present in the epithelial cells, with lower levels of expression in the stroma. Thus, androgen regulation of talin expression may play a role in normal and/or aberrant growth and development of the prostate.