The S. cerevisiae CLN genes encode cyclin homologs essential for progression from G1 to S phase. The CLN2 gene encodes a 62 kd polypeptide that accumulates periodically, peaking during G1 and decreasing rapidly thereafter, and is rapidly lost following exposure of cells to mating pheromone. Cln2 abundance can be explained by the G1-specific accumulation of the CLN2 transcript coupled with instability of the Cln2 protein. The abundance of the CLN1 and CLN2 transcripts increases greater than 5-fold during the G1 interval, decreasing dramatically as cells enter S phase. Both transcripts decrease in cells responding to mating pheromone. Finally, we demonstrate that the Cln2 polypeptide interacts with p34CDC28 to form an active protein kinase complex. This physical interaction is consistent with the genetic interaction between the CLN genes and CDC28 and suggests that Cln proteins are an essential component of the active protein kinase complex required for the G1 to S transition.