Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are enzymes involved in the remodelling of chromatin, and have a key role in the epigenetic regulation of gene expression. Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors are emerging as an exciting new class of potential anti-cancer agents. In recent years, a number of structurally diverse HDAC inhibitors have been identified and these HDAC inhibitors induce growth arrest, differentiation and/or apoptosis of cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. This study aimed at investigating the anti-tumor activity of various HDAC inhibitors, IN-2001, using T47D human breast cancer cells. Moreover, the possible mechanism by which HDAC inhibitors exhibit anti-tumor activity was also explored. In estrogen receptor positive T47D cells, IN-2001, HDAC inhibitor showed anti-proliferative effects in dose-and time-dependent manner. In T47D human breast cancer cells showed anti-tumor activity of IN-2001 and the growth inhibitory effects of IN-2001 were related to the cell cycle arrest and induction of apoptosis. Flow cytometry studies revealed that IN-2001 showed accumulation of cells at G 2/M phase. At the same time, IN-2001 treatment time-dependently increased sub-G 1 population, representing apoptotic cells. IN-2001-mediated cell cycle arrest was associated with induction of cdk inhibitor expression. In T47D cells, IN-2001 as well as other HDAC inhibitors treatment significantly increased p21 WAF1 and p27 KIP1 expression. In addition, thymidylate synthase, an essential enzyme for DNA replication and repair, was down-regulated by IN-2001 and other HDAC inhibitors in the T47D human breast cancer cells. In summary, IN-2001 with a higher potency than other HDAC inhibitors induced growth inhibition, cell cycle arrest, and eventual apoptosis in human breast cancer possibly through modulation of cell cycle and apoptosis regulatory proteins, such as cdk inhibitors, cyclins, and thymidylate synthase.