Transient receptor potential melastatin 7 (TRPM7) channels represent the major magnesium-uptake mechanism in mammalian cells and are key regulators of cell growth and proliferation. They are expressed abundantly in a variety of human carcinoma cells controlling survival, growth, and migration. These characteristics are the basis for recent interest in the channel as a target for cancer therapeutics. We screened a chemical library of marine organism-derived extracts and identified waixenicin A from the soft coral Sarcothelia edmondsoni as a strong inhibitor of overexpressed and native TRPM7. Waixenicin A activity was cytosolic and potentiated by intracellular free magnesium (Mg(2+)) concentration. Mutating a Mg(2+) binding site on the TRPM7 kinase domain reduced the potency of the compound, whereas kinase deletion enhanced its efficacy independent of Mg(2+). Waixenicin A failed to inhibit the closely homologous TRPM6 channel and did not significantly affect TRPM2, TRPM4, and Ca(2+) release-activated Ca(2+) current channels. Therefore, waixenicin A represents the first potent and relatively specific inhibitor of TRPM7 ion channels. Consistent with TRPM7 inhibition, the compound blocked cell proliferation in human Jurkat T-cells and rat basophilic leukemia cells. Based on the ability of the compound to inhibit cell proliferation through Mg(2+)-dependent block of TRPM7, waixenicin A, or structural analogs may have cancer-specific therapeutic potential, particularly because certain cancers accumulate cytosolic Mg(2+).