Deregulated expression of cyclin D1 has been found in several types of human tumors. In order to investigate factors involved in human prostate cancer progression, we studied the effects of cyclin D1 overexpression on human prostate cancer cell proliferation and tumorigenicity by transfecting LNCaP cells with a retroviral vector containing human cyclin D1 cDNA. When compared to the parental and control-vector transfected LNCaP cells, these cyclin D1-transfected cells had more cells in S-phase and lower growth factor requirements. Furthermore, these cells grew more in androgen-free medium. We also detected higher levels of Rb phosphorylation and E2F-1 protein levels in LNCaP/cyclin D1 cells than that in the parental and vector control cells in medium with or without androgen. Cyclin D1 transfected clones formed tumors more rapidly than control and parental cells. These tumors were refractory to the androgen-ablation treatment by castration, whereas tumors from parental and vector-control LNCaP cells regressed within 4 weeks after castration. These results suggest that overexpression of cyclin D1 changes the growth properties, increases tumorigenicity and decreases the requirement for androgen stimulation in LNCaP cells both in vitro and in vivo.