Cyclophilins belong to a group of proteins that possess peptidyl prolyl isomerase activity and catalyse the cis-trans conversion of proline peptide bonds. Cyclophilin members play important roles in protein folding and as molecular chaperones, in addition to a well-established role as host factors required for completion of the virus life cycle. Members of the cyclophilin family are overexpressed in a range of human malignancies including hepatocellular cancer, pancreatic cancer, nonsmall cell lung cancer, gastric cancer, colorectal cancer and glioblastoma multiforme, however, their precise role in tumourigenesis remains unclear. In recent years, mounting evidence supports a role for prolyl isomerisation during mammalian cell division; a process with striking similarity to plasma membrane remodelling during virus replication. Here, we summarise our current understanding of the role of cyclophilins in cancer. We review the function of cyclophilins during mammalian cell division and during HIV-1 infection, and highlight common processes involving members of the ESCRT and Rab GTPase families.