Although a number of studies have shown that vitamin K possesses antitumor activities on various neoplastic cell lines, there are few reports demonstrating in vivo antitumor effects of vitamin K, and the antitumor effect on colorectal cancer (CRC) remains to be examined. Therefore, antitumor effects of vitamin K on CRC were examined both in vitro and in vivo. Vitamins K2, K3 and K5 suppressed the proliferation of colon 26 cells in a dose-dependent manner, while vitamin K1 did not. On flow cytometry, induction of apoptosis by vitamins K2, K3 and K5 was suggested by population in sub-G1 phase of the cell cycle. Hoechst 33342 staining and a two-color flow cytometric assay using fluorescein isothiocyanate-conjugated annexin V and propidium iodide confirmed that vitamins K2, K3 and K5 induced apoptotic death of colon 26 cells. Enzymatic activity of caspase-3 in colon 26 cells was significantly up-regulated by vitamins K2, K3 and K5. The pan-caspase inhibitor, benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp-fluoromethyl ketone, substantially prevented vitamin K-mediated apoptosis. In vivo study using syngeneic mice with subcutaneously established colon 26 tumors demonstrated that intravenous administration of vitamins K2, K3 and K5 significantly suppressed the tumor growth. The number of apoptotic tumor cells was significantly larger in the vitamin K-treated groups than in the control group. These results suggest that vitamins K2, K3 and K5 exerted effective antitumor effects on CRC in vitro and in vivo by inducing caspase-dependent apoptotic death of tumor cells, suggesting that these K vitamins may be promising agents for the treatment of patients with CRC.