Through a PCR-based differential screening method, cyclin G was identified as a novel transcriptional target of the p53 tumor suppressor gene product. In both a mouse p53 temperature-sensitive leukemic cell line and mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEF) after gamma-irradiation, cyclin G mRNA was rapidly induced. MEF from a p53-deficient mouse expressed cyclin G at a level > 10-fold lower than that from a wild-type mouse. Using a DNA binding assay, a specific p53 binding site was identified upstream from the cyclin G gene, which functioned as a p53-dependent cis-acting element in a transient transfection assay. These results suggest that cyclin G might participate in a p53-mediated pathway to prevent tumorigenesis.