Recently we succeeded in inducing synergistic differentiation toward granulocytes in human myeloblastic leukemia ML-1 cells by treatment of ATRA in combination with GM-CSF. To research the mechanism of this differentiation process, we examined expression of cell cycle-related genes that are concerned with cell growth and differentiation. We detected change to the hypophosphorylated form of pRB and down-regulation of cyclin D3 and cdc25A during induced differentiation. Furthermore, these marked alterations were hardly detected in ML-1 cells treated with ATRA or GM-CSF alone. These results suggest that hypophosphorylation of pRB and repression of cyclin D3 and cdc25A are induced synergistically by treatment with ATRA plus GM-CSF in ML-1 cells.