ARTICLE ABSTRACTIn this study, we investigated the functional role of Akt and c-jun-NH2-kinase (JNK) signaling cascades in apigenin-induced apoptosis in U937 human leukemia cells and anti-leukemic activity of apigenin in vivo. Apigenin induced apoptosis by inactivation of Akt with a concomitant activation of JNK, Mcl-1 and Bcl-2 downregulation, cytochrome c release from mitochondria, and activation of caspases. Constitutively active myristolated Akt prevented apigenin-induced JNK, caspase activation, and apoptosis. Conversely, LY294002 and a dominant-negative construct of Akt potentiated apigenin-induced apoptosis in leukemia cells. Interruption of the JNK pathway showed marked reduction in apigenin-induced caspase activation and apoptosis in leukemia cells. Furthermore, in vivo administration of apigenin resulted in attenuation of tumor growth in U937 xenografts accompanied by inactivation of Akt and activation of JNK. Attenuation of tumor growth in U937 xenografts by apigenin raises the possibility that apigenin may have clinical implications and can be further tested for incorporating in leukemia treatment regimens. Mol Cancer Ther; 11(1); 132–42. ©2011 AACR.