Y box-binding protein 1 (YB-1) is a multifunctional protein that can act as a regulator of transcription and of translation. In chicken embryo fibroblasts transformed by the oncoproteins P3k (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase) or Akt, YB-1 is transcriptionally down-regulated. Expression of YB-1 from a retroviral vector induces a strong cellular resistance to transformation by P3k or Akt but does not affect sensitivity to transformation by other oncoproteins, such as Src, Jun, or Qin. The YB-1-expressing cells assume a tightly adherent, flat phenotype, with YB-1 localized in the cytoplasm, and show a greatly reduced saturation density. Both cap-dependent and cap-independent translation is inhibited in these cells, but the activity of Akt remains unaffected, suggesting that YB-1 functions downstream of Akt. A YB-1 protein with a loss-of-function mutation in the RNA-binding motif no longer binds to the mRNA cap structure, is localized in the cell nucleus, does not induce the flat cellular phenotype, and fails to interfere with P3k- or Akt-induced oncogenic transformation. This mutant also does not inhibit cap-dependent or cap-independent translation. These results suggest that YB-1 acts like a rapamycin mimic, inhibiting translational events that are required in phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-driven oncogenic transformation.