Aberrant vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) growth is associated with many vascular diseases including atherosclerosis, hypertension, and restenosis. Platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF) induces VSMC proliferation through control of cell cycle progression and protein and DNA synthesis. Multiple signaling cascades control VSMC growth, including members of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family as well as phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and its downstream effector AKT/protein kinase B (PKB). Little is known about how these signals are integrated by mitogens and whether there are common receptor-proximal signaling control points that synchronize the execution of physiological growth functions. The nonreceptor proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2 (PYK2) is activated by a variety of growth factors and G protein receptor agonists in VSMC and lies upstream of both PI3K and MAPK cascades. The present study investigated the role of PYK2 in PDGF signaling in cultured rat aortic VSMC. PYK2 downregulation attenuated PDGF-dependent protein and DNA synthesis, which correlated with inhibition of AKT and extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) but not p38 MAPK activation. Inhibition of PDGF-dependent protein kinase B (AKT) and ERK1/2 signaling by inhibitors of upstream kinases PI3K and MEK, respectively, as well as downregulation of PYK2 resulted in modulation of the G1/S phase of the cell cycle through inhibition of retinoblastoma protein (Rb) phosphorylation and cyclin D1 expression, as well as p27Kip upregulation. Cell division kinase 2 (cdc2) phosphorylation at G2/M was also contingent on PDGF-dependent PI3K-AKT and ERK1/2 signaling. These data suggest that PYK2 is an important upstream mediator in PDGF-dependent signaling cascades that regulate VSMC proliferation. © 2011 the American Physiological Society.