Nonmelanoma skin cancer is one of the most frequently occurring cancers in the United States. Chronic exposure to UVB irradiation is a major cause of this cancer. Daidzein, along with genistein, is a major isoflavone found in soybeans; however, little is known about the chemopreventive effects of daidzein and its metabolites in UVB-induced skin cancer. Here, we found that 7,3',4'- trihydroxyisoflavone (THIF), a major metabolite of daidzein, effectively inhibits UVB-induced cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) expression through the inhibition of NF-kB transcription activity in mouse skin epidermal JB6 P+ cells. In contrast, daidzein had no effect on COX-2 expression levels. Data from Western blot and kinase assays showed that 7,3',4'-THIF inhibited Cot and MKK4 activity, thereby suppressing UVB-induced phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases. Pull-down assays indicated that 7,3',4'-THIF competed with ATP to inhibit Cot or MKK4 activity. Topical application of 7,3',4'-THIF clearly suppressed the incidence and multiplicity of UVB-induced tumors in hairless mouse skin. Hairless mouse skin results also showed that 7,3',4'-THIF inhibits Cot or MKK4 kinase activity directly, resulting in suppressed UVB-induced COX-2 expression. A docking study revealed that 7,3',4'-THIF, but not daidzein, easily docked to the ATP binding site of Cot and MKK4, which is located between the N-and C-lobes of the kinase domain. Collectively, these results provide insight into the biological actions of 7,3',4'-THIF, a potential skin cancer chemopreventive agent.