Here, we demonstrate that kinetin riboside (KR), a cytokinin analog, induces apoptosis in HeLa and mouse melanoma B16F-10 cells. KR disrupted the mitochondrial membrane potential and induced the release of cytochrome c and activation of caspase-3. Bad were upregulated while Bcl-2 was down-regulated under KR exposure. A tumor growth in mice was dramatically suppressed by KR. In contrast, human skin fibroblast CCL-116 and bovine primary fibroblast cells show resistances to KR and no significant changes in Bad, Bcl-X(L,) and cleaved PARP were observed. Our data suggest that KR selectively induces apoptosis in cancer cells through the classical mitochondria dependent apoptosis pathway.