Cyclin G, a recent addition to the cyclin family, was initially identified in screens for new src kinase family members and soon thereafter by differential screening for transcriptional targets of the tumor suppressor gene, p53. We have identified cyclin G as being overexpressed in breast and prostate cancer cells using differential display polymerase chain reaction screening. We demonstrate here that cyclin G is overexpressed in human breast and prostate cancer cells and in cancer cells in situ from tumor specimens. Cyclin G expression was tightly regulated throughout the cell cycle in normal breast cells, peaking at the S and G2/M phases of the cell cycle with lower levels in G1. The cell cycle-dependent expression was absent in breast cancer cells. Following DNA damage in normal p53+/+ cells, cyclin G is triggered to cluster in discrete nuclear DNA replication foci that contain replication-associated proteins such as proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). While p53-/- cells displayed a faint cyclin G nuclear staining pattern, there was no increased expression and no change in distribution of the staining pattern after DNA damage. The specific subcellular localization of cyclin G at DNA replication foci provides an additional link between p53-mediated growth arrest and cell cycle regulation and suggests that cyclin G may act as an effector of p53-mediated events by functional association with replication foci protein(s).