The mortality rate associated with prostate cancer is mainly due to metastases rather than primary organ‑confined disease. Decreasing the incidence of metastasis is important in treating prostate cancer. 4',5,7‑trihydroxyflavone (apigenin) has been demonstrated to be effective in inhibiting several types of cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect and mechanism of apigenin on the movement of prostate cancer cells. In the present study, DU145 cells were treated with varying concentrations of apigenin for different time periods. Cell viability was evaluated using an MTT assay. Cell motility and invasiveness were assayed using wound healing assays and a Matrigel migration and invasion assay. Flow cytometric and western blot analyses were performed to examine the cell cycle and signaling pathways. The results demonstrated that apigenin suppressed the proliferation and inhibited the migration and invasive potential of the DU145 prostate cancer cells in a dose‑ and time‑dependent manner, which was associated with epithelial mesenchymal transition. These findings suggested that apigenin may be effective in treating human prostate cancer.