Activation of the cyclin dependent kinases (CDK4/CDK6 and CDK2) is required for G1 phase progression and entry into S-phase. The activation of these kinases is regulated by checkpoints that monitor environmental and intracellular conditions. Progression into S-phase is controlled, in part, by the availability of growth factors, and we have investigated the relationship between growth factor availability and the activation of the CDK kinases. Blocking activation of epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor tyrosine kinase with anti-EGF receptor monoclonal antibody (mAb) 225 induces G1 phase cell cycle arrest in DiFi human colon adenocarcinoma cells. When DiFi cells are treated with mAb 225 for 24 h, we observe marked decreases in the activities of CDK2 kinase and cyclin E-associated CDK kinase which are not accompanied by reduced levels of cyclin E and CDK2 proteins. However, the amount of cyclin/CDK kinase inhibitor p27KIP1 increases in the mAb-treated cells and p27KIP1 is bound to CDK2 in increasing amounts. Immunodepletion of p27KIP1 removes an inhibitory activity from lysates of mAb-treated cells: the immunodepleted and heated lysates lose the capacity to inhibit cyclin E/CDK2 activity in an in vitro assay. The results suggest that G1 arrest in the cell cycle induced by EGF receptor blockade involves p27KIP1.