Abstract Monoterpenes as S-(-)-perillyl alcohol (PA) have been shown to inhibit the isoprenylation of such growth regulatory proteins as ras. In this study, we investigated the effects of the R-(+) enantiomer of PA on cell cycle, signaling, and cytoskeletal control in the colonic adenocarcinoma cell line SW480, which carries a K- ras mutation. Cell cycle analysis by flow cytometry of SW480 cells treated with 1 mM PA for 24 hours demonstrated an increase in the number of cells in G0/G1 with a decrease in S phase, compared with untreated control cells. These cell cycle changes correlated with an inhibition of protein isoprenylation from 14C-mevalonate and decreased expression of the cell cycle regulatory kinase p34 cdc2. Additionally, PA-treated cells acquired a flattened morphology with a condensation of cytoskeletal actin spikes to the periphery. This was in contrast to treatment with 15 μM mevinolin (MVN), a direct mevalonate synthesis inhibitor, which imparted to SW480 cells a more rounded and spindly morphology, associated with the depolymerization of actin microfilaments. Together, these data suggest that fluctuations in mevalonate and isoprenoid pools may involve different morphologic phenomenon. Because ras mediated signaling is related to the organization of the actin cytoskeleton, we investigated the effects of PA on the isoprenylation of ras. Although MVN treatment inhibited ras farnesylation, PA treatment decreased the expression of total ras protein. In summary, R-(+)-PA-induced cell signaling events correlated with alterations in the organization of cytoskeletal actin and decreased protein expression of growth regulatory proteins, such as ras and cdc2 kinase. These effects may contribute to the growth inhibitory activity of R-(+)-PA.