Polymorphism of the steroid hormone-related genes might affect life-long androgen exposure, thus altering a risk of prostate cancer incidence. To evaluate the effect of the polymorphisms of CYP17 and SRD5A2 on serum steroid hormone levels, the 164 male Japanese cohort were tested for serum hormone levels and the genotype of the polymorphisms of CYP17 (T-C base substitution in the promoter region) and SRD5A2 (V89L). The linear trends across the CYP17 genotypes in serum-free testosterone and androstenedione levels were found, suggesting the importance of the polymorphism of CYP17 in determining the circulating androgen levels. © 2004 Nature Publishing Group. All rights reserved.