The Drosophila melanogaster cyclin dependent protein kinase complex CycD/Cdk4 has been shown to regulate cellular growth (accumulation of mass) as well as proliferation (cell cycle progression). In contrast, the orthologous mammalian complex has been shown to regulate cell cycle progression, but possible functions in growth control have not been addressed directly. To test whether mammalian Cyclin D1/Cdk4 complexes are capable of driving cell growth, we expressed such a complex in Drosophila. Using assays that distinguish between mass increase and cell cycle progression, we found that this complex stimulated cell growth, like its Drosophila counterpart. Furthermore, Hif-1 prolyl hydroxylase (Hph) is required for both complexes to drive growth. Our data suggest that the growth-specific function of CycD/Cdk4 is conserved from arthropods to mammals.