Colorectal carcinoma (CRC) is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world. Phytochemicals have become a research hotspot in recent years as cancer prevention and treatment agents due to their low toxicity and limited side-effects. Ellagic acid (EA), a natural phenolic constituent, displays various biological activities, including anticancer effects. However, the detailed anticancer mechanisms of EA remain unclear. In the present study, we found that EA inhibited the growth of HCT-116 colon cancer cells. Moreover, we identified differentially expressed genes (DEGs) by microarray profiling of HCT-116 cells treated with EA. A total of 857 DEGs (363 upregulated and 494 downregulated) were identified with a >1.5-fold change in expression after treatment with EA for 72 h. Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis showed that a large number of cellular functions were modified by EA including proliferation, apoptosis, cell cycle and angiogenesis. Interaction network analysis using DEGs provided details of their interactions and predicted the key target pathways of EA. To verify the result of cDNA microarray, 10 selected DEGs related to proliferation, apoptosis or cell cycle were further confirmed by real-time RT-PCR. Based on microarray data, we identified several crucial functions of EA. These results provide important new data for EA in anti-CRC research.