Mitogen-activated signal transduction frequently leads to the induction of the c-myc proto-oncogene, but the subsequent molecular events downstream of Myc protein expression which promote cell cycle progression remain unclear. To study Myc-specific effects, without the complexity of the broader proliferative response evoked by serum, we employed the MycER-inducible system in the non-transformed Rat-1 cell line. We demonstrate that activation of wild-type, but not mutant, MycER is sufficient to transiently induce cyclin D1 RNA as well as protein expression to physiological levels, and promote G0/G1 to S phase transition of the cell cycle. Stimulation of endogenous cyclin D1 RNA is rapid and clearly evident within 30 min of MycER-activation, reaching a peak at 3 h. Nuclear run-on analysis demonstrates that this induction occurs at the transcriptional level with a fivefold increase in the rate of transcription. Moreover, MycER induces cyclin D1 transcription with equal efficacy in the presence or absence of de novo protein synthesis. Our work shows that Myc and cyclin D1 lie consecutively in a major proliferation-control pathway, and together create a pivotal connection between signal transduction and cell cycle control.