Histone deacetylase inhibitors arrest the growth of neuroblastoma cells and induce differentiation. Identification of target genes that co-ordinate and mediate these effects is important for understanding the function of this novel class of antitumour drugs. We report here that trichostatin-A (TSA) specifically induces the transcription of Cend1, a neuronal-lineage specific regulator of cell cycle exit and differentiation, in neuroblastoma Neuro2A cells, but not in non-neuronal cells. Furthermore, we show that knockdown of Cend1 alleviates both the anti-proliferative and differentiation effect of TSA. Our findings suggest that Cend1 is an important molecular target for HDAC inhibition.