Citreamicins, members of the polycyclic xanthone family, are promising antitumor agents that are produced by Streptomyces species. Two diastereomers, citreamicin ε A (1) and B (2), were isolated from a marine-derived Streptomyces species. The relative configurations of these two diastereomers were determined using NMR spectroscopy and successful crystallization of citreamicin ε A (1). Both diastereomers showed potent cytotoxic activity against HeLa (cervical cancer) and HepG2 (hepatic carcinoma) cells with IC50 values ranging from 30 to 100 nM. The terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end labeling assay confirmed that citreamicin ε A (1) induced cellular apoptosis, and Western blot analysis showed that apoptosis occurred via activation of caspase-3. The 2,7-dichlorofluorescein diacetate assay indicated that citreamicin ε substantially increased the intracellular concentration of reactive oxygen species (ROS). To confirm the hypothesis that citreamicin ε induced apoptosis through an increase in the intracellular ROS concentration, the oxidized products, oxicitreamicin ε A (3) and B (4), were obtained from a one-step reaction catalyzed by Ag2O. These products, with a reduced capacity to increase the intracellular ROS concentration, exhibited a significantly weakened cytotoxicity in both HeLa and HepG2 cells compared with that of citreamicin ε A (1) and B (2).