The use of peptides that target cancer cells and induce anticancer activities through various mechanisms is developing as a potential anticancer strategy. KUD983, an enantiomerically pure beta-dipeptide derivative, displays potent activity against hormone-refractory prostate cancer (HRPC) PC-3 and DU145 cells with submicromolar IC50. KUD983 induced G1 arrest of the cell cycle and subsequent apoptosis associated with down-regulation of several related proteins including cyclin D1, cyclin E and Cdk4, and the de-phosphorylation of RB. The levels of nuclear and total c-Myc protein, which could increase the expression of both cyclin D1 and cyclin E, were profoundly inhibited by KUD983. Furthermore, it inhibited PI3K/Akt and mTOR/p70S6K/4E-BP1 pathways, the key signaling in multiple cellular functions. The transient transfection of constitutively active myristylated Akt (myr-Akt) cDNA significantly rescued KUD983induced caspase activation but did not blunt the inhibition of mTOR/p7056K/4E-BP1 signaling cascade suggesting the presence of both Akt-dependent and -independent pathways. Moreover, KUD983-induced effect was enhanced with the down-regulation of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 members (e.g., Bcl-2, and Mcl-1) and IAP family members (e.g., survivin). Notably, KUD983 induced autophagic cell death using confocal microscopic examination, tracking the level of conversion of LC3-I to LC3-II and flow cytometric detection of acidic vesicular organelles-positive cells. In conclusion, the data suggest that KUD983 is an anticancer beta-dipeptide against HRPCs through the inhibition of cell proliferation and induction of apoptotic and autophagic cell death. The suppression of signaling pathways regulated by c-Myc, PI3K/Akt and mTOR/p7056K/4E-BP1 and the collaboration with down-regulation of Mcl-1 and survivin may explain KUD983-induced anti-HRPC mechanism.