Cadmium is highly toxic and can cause oxidative damage, metabolic disorders, and reduced lifespan and fertility in animals. In this study, we investigated the effects of cadmium in Drosophila melanogaster, performing transcriptome analysis by using tag-based digital gene expression (DGE) profiling. Among 1970 candidate genes, 1443 were up-regulated and 527 were down-regulated following cadmium exposure. Using Gene Ontology analysis, we found that cadmium stress affects three processes: transferase activity, stress response, and the cell cycle. Furthermore, we identified five differentially expressed genes (confirmed by real-time PCR) involved in all three processes: Ald, Cdc2, skpA, tefu, and Pvr. Pathway analysis revealed that these genes were involved in the cell cycle pathway and fat digestion and absorption pathway. This study reveals the gene expression response to cadmium stress in Drosophila, it provides insights into the mechanisms of this response, and it could contribute to our understanding of cadmium toxicity in humans.