Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors such as trichostatin (TSA) and butyrate have been shown to inhibit cancer cell proliferation, induce apoptosis and regulate the expression of genes involved in cell cycle. Although the precise mechanism underlying HDAC inhibitor-induced cell growth arrest is not fully understood, induction of cell cycle related genes such as p21(cip/waf), is thought to be important. Here we showed that in the SW620 human colon cancer cell line, TSA and butyrate induced the growth arrest and DNA damage gene 45alpha (GADD45alpha) and GADD45beta. Furthermore, GADD45beta and p21(cip/waf) messenger RNA were induced in the absence of protein synthesis, indicating that both genes were immediate target genes for TSA. Cyclohexamide and TSA super-induced the expression of GADD45alpha and beta, but not p21(cip/waf). Interestingly while mitogen-activated kinase (MEK) inhibitor PD98059 and p38 kinase inhibitor SB242235 were unable to affect GADD45 induction, two serine/threonine protein kinase inhibitors (H7 and H8) as well as curcumin completely blocked the super-induction. Concomitant to the inhibition of GADD45 induction, H7 and H8 also blocked TSA-induced apoptosis. Taken together, these results suggest that GADD45 induction may play important role in TSA-induced cellular effects.