Transcription of CDK1 is induced as cells re-enter the cell cycle from quiescence and these early cell cycle re-entry events have been modeled by okadaic acid treatment due to its activity on specific enhancer sequences in the human CDK1 promoter. To investigate heterogeneity of control of this mechanism in the context of neoplastic transformation, a cellular model derived from spontaneous canine mammary cancer (CMT) was developed that includes six cell lines derived from different animals. Notable heterogeneity in response to okadaic acid was observed in expression of CDK1 mRNA and protein. In response to okadaic acid treatment, two CMT cell lines exhibited a CDK1 mRNA induction while one cell line exhibited CDK1 mRNA suppression, and three remained unchanged. Despite this variability, three CMT cell lines arrested in S or G2/M phase and five exhibited marked increases in apoptosis. Moderation of some of these differences were observed at the level of CDK1 protein as three of six CMT cell lines exhibited only moderate enhancement in CDK1 protein levels while three remained essentially unchanged. Some additional differences in distribution of CDK1 protein, favoring enhanced nuclear over cytoplasmic CDK1 localization, were observed in treated cells in the form of concentrated nuclear CDK1 labeled foci. Confocal microscopy revealed the presence of brightly labeled punctate foci containing CDK1 protein within nuclei as well as nucleoli in okadaic acid treated non-mitotic cells suggesting a role for this kinase outside the normal G2/mitotic phase of the cell cycle and suggesting a possible new function within the nucleolus. J. Cell. Biochem. 98: 504–518, 2006. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.