It is believed that bisphosphonates (BPs) induce apoptosis in cells such as myeloma cells, as they inhibit prenylation of G-proteins. However, the details of the apoptosis-inducing mechanism remain obscure. In the present study, we attempted to clarify the mechanism by which YM529, a new bisphosphonate, induces apoptosis. YM529 induced cell deaths in HL60 cells in a concentration-dependent manner. At that time, we observed an increase in Caspase-3 activity and morphological fragmentation of the nuclei. We could confirm that these cell deaths were evidence of apoptosis. The apoptosis induced by YM529 was not inhibited by the addition of farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP), but was by the addition of geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate (GGPP). When we examined the survival signals at the time of apoptotic induction, we also observed that the administration of YM529 caused a remarkable decrease in the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2). However, other survival signals such as nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB), protein kinase B (Akt), and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38) exhibited no change. In addition, no quantitative change was observed in Bcl-2, which is an anti-apoptosis protein. It was also observed that apoptosis was induced when U0126, an MEK inhibitor, was added to the cells to inhibit ERK. These results suggest that YM529, the new bisphosphonate, induced apoptosis when inhibit GGPP synthase and consequently decreased the levels of phosphorylated ERK, which is a survival signal; moreover, during this process, there is no influence on NF-kappaB, Akt, p38, and Bcl-2. The results of this study also suggest that YM529 can be used as an anticancer agent, in addition to its use as a therapeutic agent to treat osteoporosis.