Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors are potent anticancer agents and show efficacy against various human neoplasms. Vorinostat is a potent HDAC inhibitor and has shown potential to inhibit growth of human xenograft tumors. However, its effect on the growth of skin neoplasm remains undefined. In this study, we show that vorinostat (2 μM) reduced expression of HDAC1, 2, 3, and 7 in epidermoid carcinoma A431 cells. Consistently, it increased acetylation of histone H3 and p53. Vorinostat (100. mg/kg body weight, IP) treatment reduced human xenograft tumor growth in highly immunosuppressed nu/nu mice. Histologically, the vorinostat-treated tumor showed features of well-differentiation with large necrotic areas. Based on proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) staining and expression of cyclins D1, D2, E, and A, vorinostat seems to impair proliferation by down-regulating the expression of these proteins. However, it also induced apoptosis. The mechanism by which vorinostat blocks proliferation and makes tumor cells prone to apoptosis, involved inhibition of mTOR signaling which was accompanied by reduction in cell survival AKT and extracellular-signal regulated kinase (ERK) signaling pathways. Our data provide a novel mechanism-based therapeutic intervention for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Vorinostat may be utilized to cure skin neoplasms in organ transplant recipient (OTR). These patients have high morbidity and surgical removal of these lesions which frequently develop in these patients, is difficult. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.