Propolis has numerous biologic activities including antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Several components isolated from propolis have been shown to have anticancer activity. This study demonstrates that the compound PM-3 (3-[2-dimethyl-8-(3-methyl-2-butenyl)benzopyran]-6-propenoic acid) isolated from Brazilian propolis markedly inhibits the growth of MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. This effect was associated with inhibition of cell cycle progression and induction of apoptosis. Treatment of MCF-7 cells with PM-3 arrested cells in the G1 phase and resulted in a decrease in the protein levels of cyclin D1 and cyclin E. PM-3 also inhibited the expression of cyclin D1 at the transcriptional level when examined in cyclin D1 promoter luciferase assays. Induction of apoptosis by PM-3 occurred within 48 hours after treatment of MCF-7 cells. The MCF-7 treated cells also displayed a decrease in the level of the estrogen receptor (ER) protein and inhibition of estrogen response element (ERE) promoter activity. Therefore, PM-3 merits further investigation with respect to breast cancer chemoprevention or therapy.