Recently, we identified a nucleoside analog named ARC (4-amino-6-hydrazino-7-β-D-ribofuranosyl-7H-Pyrrolo[2,3-d]pyrimidine-5-carboxamide), which has the properties of a general transcriptional inhibitor. Here, we report the characterization of ARC on a panel of colorectal cancer (CRC) cell lines. Cell death induced by ARC in CRC cells was accompanied by caspase-3 cleavage and correlated with the downregulation of antiapoptotic proteins, survivin and Mcl-1 and with the inhibition of Akt phosphorylation. At the same time, colon cancer cell lines were resistant to the well–known nucleoside analog DRB (5,6-dichloro-1-β-D-ribofuranosylbenzimidazole), which failed to downregulate Mcl-1 or survivin. Overall, ARC could represent an attractive candidate for anti-cancer drug development that targets multiple survival pathways in colon cancer cells. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.