A number of potential molecular targets for novel anticancer drug discovery have been identified in cell cycle control mechanisms. Prominent among these are the regulatory proteins, cyclins and their effector counterparts the cyclin dependent kinases (CDKs). Aberrant expression of these proteins, particularly cyclins involved in the G1 phase of the cell cycle, namely the D and E cyclins, has been associated with a variety of human cancers, including breast and colorectal cancer, B-lymphoma, prostate and non-small cell lung cancer. Inhibition of CDK kinase activity has turned out to be the most productive strategy for the discovery and design novel anticancer agents specifically targeting the cell cycle. Other potentially useful cell cycle areas for exploration include cyclin-CDK interactions, Cdc25 activation of cyclin-CDK complexes, ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis of cyclins, cell cycle check point kinases like Chk1, and recently identified oncogenic cell cycle-related aurora and polo-like kinases. Potent specific inhibitors have been identified that bind to the ATP site of CDKs, mainly cyclin B-CDK1, cyclin A-CDK2, and cyclin D-CDK4 complexes, and inhibit kinase activity. X-ray crystallographic data of CDKs, and their complexes with inhibitors have played a major role in the success of drug discovery efforts. Combinatorial chemistry, highthroughput screening, functional genomics and informatics have also contributed. CDK inhibitors currently under investigation include flavopiridol, olomoucine, roscovitine, puvalanol B, the dihydroindolo(3,2-d)(1)benzazepinone kenpaullone, indirubin-3 ’ -monoxime and novel diaminothiazoles such as AG12275. The anticancer therapeutic potential of CDK inhibitors has been demonstrated in preclinical studies, and Phases I and II clinical trials in cancer patients are currently underway.