Apigenin, a common dietary flavonoid abundantly present in fruits and vegetables, may have the potential for prevention and therapy for prostate cancer. Here, we report for the first time that apigenin inhibits the growth of androgen-responsive human prostate carcinoma LNCaP cells and provide molecular understanding of this effect. The cell growth inhibition achieved by apigenin treatment resulted in a significant decrease in AR protein expression along with a decrease in intracellular and secreted forms of PSA. These effects were also observed in DHT-stimulated cells. Further, apigenin treatment of LNCaP cells resulted in G1 arrest in cell cycle progression which was associated with a marked decrease in the protein expression of cyclin D1, D2 and E and their activating partner cdk2, 4 and 6 with concomitant induction of WAF1/p21 and KIP1/p27. The induction of WAF1/p21 appears to be transcriptionally upregulated and is p53 dependent. In addition, apigenin inhibited the hyperphosphorylation of the pRb protein in these cells. Apigenin treatment also resulted in induction of apoptosis as determined by DNA fragmentation, PARP cleavage, fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. These effects were found to correlate with a shift in Bax/Bcl-2 ratio more towards apoptosis. Apigenin treatment also resulted in down-modulation of the constitutive expression of NF-kappaB/p65. Taken together, these findings suggest that apigenin has strong potential for development as an agent for prevention against prostate cancer.