Vri is closely related to bZIP transcription factors involved in growth or cell death. vri clonal and overexpression analyses revealed defects at the cellular level. vri clones in the adult cuticle contain smaller cells with atrophic bristles. The phenotypes are strictly cell autonomous. Clones induced in the eye precursor cells lead to individuals with smaller eyes and reduced number of ommatidia with an abnormal morphology and shorter photoreceptor cell stalks. Overexpression of vri is anti-proliferative in embryonic dorsal epidermis and in imaginal discs, and induces apoptosis. On the wing surface, larger cells with multiple trichomes are observed, suggesting cytoskeletal defects. In salivary glands, vri overexpression leads to smaller cells and organs. We also show that vri is involved in locomotion and flight and interacts genetically with genes encoding actin-binding proteins. The phenotypes observed are consistent with the hypothesis that vri is required for normal cell growth and proliferation via the regulation of the actin cytoskeleton.