We recently demonstrated expression of a novel, glioma-specific Cl- current in glial-derived tumor cells (gliomas), including stable cell lines such as STTG1, derived from a human anaplastic astrocytoma. We used STTG1 cells to study whether glioma Cl- channel (GCC) activity is regulated during cell cycle progression. Cells were arrested in defined stages of cell cycle (G0, G1, G1/S, S, and M phases) using serum starvation, mevastatin, hydroxyurea, demecolcine, and cytosine beta-D-arabinofuranoside. Cell cycle arrest was confirmed by measuring [3H]thymidine incorporation and by DNA flow cytometry. Using whole cell patch-clamp recordings, we demonstrate differential changes in GCC activity after cell proliferation and cell cycle progression was selectively altered; specifically, channel expression was low in serum-starved, G0-arrested cells, increased significantly in early G1, decreased during S phase, and increased after arrest in M phase. Although the link between the cell cycle and GCC activity is not yet clear, we speculate that GCCs are linked to the cytoskeleton and that cytoskeletal rearrangements associated with cell division lead to the observed changes in channel activity. Consistent with this hypothesis, we demonstrate the activation of GCC by disruption of F-actin using cytochalasin D or osmotic cell swelling.