We investigated the effects of FK228 on cell proliferation and apoptosis against human glioblastoma (GM) T98G, U251MG, and U87MG cells. Upon exposure to FK228, cell proliferation was inhibited, and apoptosis detected by the cleavage of CPP32 was induced. FK228 increased the expression levels of p21 (WAF-1) and of pro-apoptotic Bad protein in all GM cells. Furthermore, FK228 treatment also reduced the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-xL in all GM cells and anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 in U87MG cells, thereby shifting the cellular equilibrium from life to death. An increased accumulation of histone H4 was detected in the p21 (WAF-1) promoter and the structural gene (exon 2) and the Bad structural gene (exon 2 and 3) upon treatment with FK228, as assessed by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay. Thus, the results indicated that an increased expression of p21 (WAF1) and Bad due to FK228 is regulated, at least in part, by the degree of acetylation of the gene-associated histone. We also found that FK228 inhibits cellular invasiveness and decreases MMP-2 activity. In addition, the growth of transplanted human GM m-3 cells into the subcutaneous tissue of hereditary athymic mice was significantly inhibited, and apoptosis was induced with FK228 treatment. The results suggested that FK228 might be useful in the treatment of human GM, although further studies will be needed.