Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) significantly contributes to survival of cancer cells and is being considered as one of therapeutic targets for cancer treatment. Propyl gallate (PG) is a synthetic phenolic compound that possess a potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. In the present study, we investigated whether PG exhibit an anti-cancer effect through modulating HO-1 activation. In human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells, treatment with PG dose-dependently diminished HO-1 protein levels without changing its mRNA levels and consequently decreased HO-1 activity. PG also significantly enhanced the sensitivity of NSCLC cells to cisplatin-induced apoptosis, and this effect was attenuated by overexpression of HO-1. Mechanistically, PG exerted its chemosensitization effect by down-regulating HO-1 protein expression through a TRC8 (translocation in renal carcinoma, chromosome 8)-mediated ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Collectively, our data provide the potential application of PG in combination chemotherapy to enhance drug sensitivity in lung cancer by targeting HO-1.