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ABSTRACT: To investigate the effect of NSC348884, a nucleophosmin small molecular inhibitor, on the growth of hepatocellular carcinoma cell line HepG2 and its underlying mechanism. After HepG2 cells were treated by NSC348884 for 4 days, the effect of HepG2 cells on proliferation was measured by methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium (MTT) assay, the expression variation of nucleophosmin oligomer and monomer was measured using Western blotting, and cell apoptotic rate was detected by flow cytometry. The proliferation of HepG2 cells was remarkably inhibited by NSC348884 treatment when the drug concentration ranged from 1 micromol/L to 10 micromol/L (P < 0.05), with a 50% inhibiting concentration of 1.4 micromol/L. After treatment for 24 hours, the expression level of nucleophosmin oligomer decreased obviously while that of nucleophosmin monomer increased (both P < 0.05). After treatment by 1 micromol/L and 2 micromol/L NSC348884, the 24-hour apoptotic rates of HepG2 cells were (13.770 +/- 0.335)% and (19.021 +/- 0.237)%, respectively, which were significantly higher than in the control group (6.950 +/- 0.207)% (P < 0. 05). NSC348884 can promote the transformation of nucleophosmin oligomer to monomer and thus inhibit the growth of hepatic carcinoma cell line HepG2 in vitro.Zhongguo yi xue ke xue yuan xue bao. Acta Academiae Medicinae Sinicae 02/2012; 34(1):58-61.