D-type cyclin genes are universally dysregulated in multiple myeloma (MM), but the functional consequences are unclear as D-type cyclin gene expression does not correlate with proliferation or disease progression. We examined the protein expression and regulation of D-type cyclins and other cell cycle regulators in human myeloma cell lines and primary CD138(+) plasma cells (PCs). Cyclin D1, cyclin D2, cyclin dependent kinase (CDK) 4, CDK6, p27(Kip1) p18(INK4C) and retinoblastoma protein (pRb) were absent in normal PCs, heterogeneously expressed in primary MM cells and positively correlated with disease activity/progression. Cyclins D1 and D2 complexed with both CDK4 and CDK6, suggesting that both phosphorylate pRb in MM. Furthermore, cyclin D2 expressed via either t(14;16) or t(4;14) IgH translocations was functionally upregulated by fetal calf serum or insulin-like growth factor-I, leading to pRb phosphorylation and cell cycle entry/progression, and in some cases inversely correlated with p27(Kip1). However, pRb phosphorylation and cell cycle progression mediated by cyclin D1 expressed via t(11;14) was less dependent on exogenous stimuli. These data suggest that the presence or absence of specific IgH translocations underlying aberrant D-type cyclin expression may influence their response to mitogens in the bone marrow microenvironment. We showed for the first time that D-type cyclins are functionally regulated in MM, differentially responsive to exogenous growth factors and upregulated with disease progression.