Genomic instability can be found in most cancer cells. Cell proliferation is under tight control to ensure accurate DNA replication and chromosome segregation. Cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks) and their activating subunits, the cyclins, are the driving forces of the cell division cycle. Regulation of cyclin oscillation by ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis thereby has a central role in cell cycle regulation. The anaphase-promoting complex (APC) is a specific ubiquitin ligase and is essential for chromosome segregation, exit from mitosis and a stable subsequent G1 phase allowing cell differentiation or accurate DNA replication in the following S phase. The APC is activated by the regulatory subunits Cdc20 (APC(Cdc20)) and Cdh1 (APC(Cdh1)) to target securin, mitotic cyclins and other cell cycle regulatory proteins for proteasomal degradation. This review is focused on the role of APC-dependent proteolysis in cell cycle regulation and how its deregulation may lead to genomic instability of cancer cells.