Among the many important physiological functions of the activated vitamin D receptor (VDR) is the signaling of monocytic differentiation, first demonstrated by conversion of malignant myeloid leukemia cells to nonproliferating cells with mature monocyte/macrophage appearance. However, the understanding of how 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25D) signals monocytic differentiation is still developing. Recent advances summarized here include the role of the principal mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways, their potential downstream target the CCAAT/enhancer binding protein β (C/EBP β), cell cycle related proteins, and cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) in 1,25D-induced differentiation. The precise steps by which activated VDR signals differentiation are incompletely understood in any of the cell types known to respond to 1,25D. We have focused our studies on HL60 cells, a widely available cell line derived from a patient with promyeloblastic leukemia, with the goal of achieving as clear a picture as possible with the currently available tools. In this model, outlined in Fig. 1, a plausible sequence of events is presented, with the caveats that these are not the only pathways activated by liganded VDR, and that several other pathways, also operative, remain to be convincingly demonstrated. The details of the scheme will be discussed in the sections below.