Prostate cancer (PCa), the most incident cancer in men, is tightly regulated by endocrine signals. A number of different PCa cell lines are commonly used for in vitro experiments, but these are of diverse origin, and have very different cell-proliferation rates and hormone-response capacities. By analyzing the gene-expression pattern of main hormone pathways, we systematically compared six PCa cell lines and parental primary cells. We compared these cell lines (i) with each other and (ii) with PCa tissue samples from 11 patients. We found major differences in the gene-expression levels of androgen, insulin, estrogen, and oxysterol signaling between PCa tissue and cell lines, and between different cell lines. Our systematic characterization gives researchers a solid basis to choose the appropriate PCa cell model for the hormone pathway of interest.