The F-box protein p45SKP2 is the substrate-targeting subunit of the ubiquitin-protein ligase SCFSKP2 and is frequently overexpressed in transformed cells. Here we report that expression of p45SKP2 in untransformed fibroblasts activates DNA synthesis in cells that would otherwise growth-arrest. Expression of p45SKP2 in quiescent fibroblasts promotes p27Kip1 degradation, allows the generation of cyclin-A-dependent kinase activity and induces S phase. Coexpression of a degradation-resistant p27Kip1 mutant suppresses p45SKP2-induced cyclin-A-kinase activation and S-phase entry. We propose that p45SKP2 is important in the progression from quiescence to S phase and that the ability of p45SKP2 to promote p27Kip1 degradation is a key aspect of its S-phase-inducing function. In transformed cells, p45SKP2 may contribute to deregulated initiation of DNA replication by interfering with p27Kip1 function.