The promoting roles of cyclin dependent kinase 1 (CDK1) have been revealed in various tumors, however, its effects in the progression of cancer stem cells are still confusing. This work aims to explore the roles of CDK1 in regulating the stemness of lung cancer cells. Online dataset analysis was performed to evaluate the correlation between CDK1 exression and the survival of lung cancer patients. RT-qPCR, western blot, cell viability, sphere-formation analysis and ALDH activity detection were used to investigate the roles of CDK1 on lung cancer cell stemness, viability and chemotherapeutic sensitivity. Immunocoprecipitation (Co-IP) analysis and rescuing experiments were performed to reveal the underlying mechanisms contributing to CDK1-mediated effects on lung cancer cell stemness. CDK1 mRNA expression was negatively correlated with the overall survival of lung cancer patients and remarkably increased in tumor spheres formed by lung cancer cells compared to the parental cells. Additionally, CDK1 positively regulated the stemness of lung cancer cells. Mechanistically, CDK1 could interact with Sox2 protein, but not other stemness markers (Oct4, Nanog and CD133). Furthermore, CDK1 increased the phosphorylation, cytoplasm-nuclear translocation and transcriptional activity of Sox2 protein in lung cancer cells. Moreover, CDK1 positively regulated the stemness of lung cancer cells in a Sox2-dependent manner. Finally, we revealed that inhibition of CDK1 enhanced the chemotherapeutic sensitivity, which was also rescued by Sox2 overexpression. This work reveals a novel CDK1/Sox2 axis responsible for maintaining the stemness of lung cancer cells. © 2021. Federación de Sociedades Españolas de Oncología (FESEO).