We have analyzed the regulation of transcription of integrated SV40 DNA and of five cellular genes during the cell cycle of two lines of SV40 transformed mouse 3T3 cells. These cells (ts SV3T3) are temperature sensitive for the expression of the transformed phenotype and at the nonpermissive temperature (39 degrees C) become arrested in G1 at low serum concentrations. SV40 specific RNAs are not detected either in the nuclear or in the cytoplasmic poly(A+)RNA of quiescent cells, suggesting control at the level of transcription. After serum stimulation, however, viral transcription increases and reaches its maximum during S-phase. The expression of a group of selected housekeeping genes has received parallel analysis to determine whether other cellular genes, beside the integrated SV40, are shut off in G1 arrested cells or are expressed in restricted periods of the cell cycle. We have found that, while the mRNAs for collagen, adenosinphosphoribosiltransferase (APRT) and the mouse major histocompatibility complex (H2) are present throughout the cell cycle, the genes coding for the multifunctional protein CAD and dehydrofolate reductase are cell-cycle regulated.