Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Vpr is a 96-amino-acid virion-associated protein that arrests cells in the G2 phase of the cell cycle in peripheral blood lymphocytes, HeLa, 293, 293T, A549, Jurkat, CEM, SupT1, CV-1 and COS1 cells. When we transfected Vpr expression vector into mouse NIH3T3 and then cultured it in the presence of G418, NIH3T3 cells were the drug resistant cells yielded. The surviving colonies, however, exhibited a degenerating morphology up to 8 ~ 20-fold smaller than the control vector colonies. In addition, the growth of NIH3T3 cells transiently transfected with Vpr expression vector declined dramatically compared with that of transfectants with control vector, suggesting that Vpr significantly interferes with cell proliferation of NIH3T3 cells. Cell cycle characterization by flow cytometry indicated that expression of Vpr did not induce G2 cessation in NIH3T3. These findings strongly suggest that Vpr has a novel pathway to retard cell growth independently and arrests the G2 phase of the cell cycle.