BACKGROUND Seladin-1 belongs to a subgroup of androgen-dependent genes associated with anti-proliferative, pro-differentiation, and pro-apoptotic functions and plays a protective role against oncogenic stress. The present study aims to investigate the localization and expression of Seladin-1 protein in normal and tumoral human prostatic tissues as well as to explore its role in proliferation and steroid secretion in androgen-dependent (LnCaP) and androgen-independent (DU145) cell lines and in human prostate primary cell culture. METHODS Seladin-1 protein localization and expression were assessed on whole tissue sections by tissue array/immunohistochemistry and following immunofluorescence and Western blotting. Proliferation (Ki67 fluorescence labeling and cell counts) and steroid secretion (ELISA) were assessed in cell lines and primary epithelial cell cultures. RESULTS In human prostatic tissue and cells, Seladin-1 was mostly localized within epithelial and rarely within stromal cells and primarily present in secretory luminal cells of normal and tumoral prostate cells. Its expression was increased in low-risk prostate cancer but reduced in advanced prostate cancers when compared to normal tissues. Seladin-1 was highly expressed in LnCaP, whereas its expression level was lower in DU145 cells. Seladin-1 inhibition by treatment with its specific inhibitor, U18666A (75 nM), increased proliferation in LnCaP and primary cell culture, as well as testosterone and dihydrotestosterone levels in both LnCaP and DU145 cell lines. CONCLUSIONS Seladin-1 involvement in proliferation and secretion suggests that its downregulation may be a major mechanism causing prostate cancer evolution. Seladin-1 may thus potentially decrease cell growth and steroid dependency in low-grade prostate cancer.