The rapamycin-sensitive (TOR) signalling pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae controls growth and cell proliferation in response to nutrient availability. Rapamycin treatment causes cells to arrest growth in G1 phase. The mechanism by which the inhibition of the TOR pathway regulates cell cycle progression is not completely understood. Here we show that rapamycin causes G1 arrest by a dual mechanism that comprises downregulation of the G1-cyclins Cln1-3 and upregulation of the Cdk inhibitor protein Sic1. The increase of Sic1 level is mostly independent of the downregulation of the G1 cyclins, being unaffected by ectopic CLN2 expression, but requires Sic1 phosphorylation of Thr173, because it is lost in cells expressing Sic1(T173A). Rapamycin-mediated Sic1 upregulation involves nuclear accumulation of a more stable, non-ubiquitinated protein. Either SIC1 deletion or CLN3 overexpression results in non-cell-cycle-specific arrest upon rapamycin treatment and makes cells sensitive to a sublethal dose of rapamycin and to nutrient starvation. In conclusion, our data indicate that Sic1 is involved in rapamycin-induced G1 arrest and that deregulated entrance into S phase severely decreases the ability of a cell to cope with starvation conditions induced by nutrient depletion or which are mimicked by rapamycin treatment.