Cruciferous vegetable-derived isothiocyanates (ITCs) display potent cancer chemopreventive activity, but also markedly stimulate oncogenic activator protein 1 (AP-1). AP-1 is well known to promote cell survival and proliferation. We examined the impact of AP-1 activation on antiproliferative activity of ITCs, using bladder cancer cells and phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) as models. AP-1 transactivation induced by PEITC was almost completely suppressed by a dominant-negative c-jun (TAM67). However, suppression of AP-1 transactivation did not affect PEITC-induced apoptosis or cell-cycle arrest. Moreover, we previously showed that in response to ITC treatment c-jun was predominantly stimulated among AP-1 family members largely by c-junN-terminal kinase (JNK) [Food Chem Toxicol 2005; 43: 1373–1380], but neither JNK inhibition nor forced expression of c-jun altered the antiproliferative activity of PEITC. In addition, cyclin D1, which is considered as an AP-1 target gene and promotes cell proliferation, was markedly elevated in PEITC-treated cells. Unexpectedly, neither TAM67 or JNK inhibition, nor forced c-jun expression had a significant impact on cyclin D1 induction by PEITC, indicating that c-jun/AP-1 does not play an important role in cyclin D1 induction by PEITC. In conclusion, despite the known role of c-jun/AP-1 as a stimulator of cell growth and proliferation, our data show that its activation does not diminish the antiproliferative activity of PEITC and is not responsible for cyclin D1 induction by PEITC. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.