Cyclin D1 overexpression has been associated with poor prognosis and resistance to therapy in human breast cancer. Thus, the development of therapeutic agents that selectively target cyclin D1 activity is of clinical interest. This study demonstrates that 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA), a phytohormone with critical functions in growth and development in plants, induces growth arrest in MDA-MB-231 and T47D breast cancer cells. In response to OPDA treatment, the human breast cancer cell lines exhibit a progressive decline in cyclin D1 expression, which is tightly associated with the accumulation of hypophosphorylated form of the retinoblastoma protein (Rb) and G1 arrest. The decrease in cyclin D1 protein expression accompanies a dramatic decline in nuclear but not membranous beta-catenin expression and activation of glycogen synthase kinase-3-beta (GSK3 beta) caused by inhibition of its serine-9 phosphorylation. The proteasome inhibitor MG132 blocks OPDA-mediated decrease in cyclin D1. In addition, the overexpression of T286A, a cyclin D1 mutant which is refractory to phosphorylation by GSK3b and proteosomal degradation, is resistant to OPDA-mediated Rb dephosphorylation as well as G1 cell cycle arrest. Thus, our results demonstrate that degradation of cyclin D1 protein is a key event in OPDA induced growth inhibition in breast cancer cells. These data provide the basic foundation for future efforts to develop OPDA-based approaches in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer and other types of cancer.