Trichostatin A (TSA), a specific histone deacetylase inhibitor, induces histone hyperacetylation and modulates the expression of some genes. We examined the effects of TSA on MG63 cells. TSA induced growth arrest and expression of the p21/WAF1/Cip1 protein. A close correlation between the level of histone acetylation and induction of the p21/WAF1/Cip1 protein was detected. Using several mutant p21/WAF1/Cip1 promoter fragments, mutation of either of two Sp1 sites at -82 or -69 of the p21/WAF1/Cip1 promoter reduced the responsiveness to TSA. This finding indicates that TSA activates the p21/WAF1/Cip1 promoter through the Sp1 sites in a p53-independent manner.