The retinoblastoma family of proteins are key cell cycle regulatory molecules important for the differentiation of various mammalian cell types. The retinoblastoma protein regulates transcription of a variety of genes either by blocking the activation domain of various activators or by active repression via recruitment to appropriate promoters. We show here that the retinoblastoma family of proteins functions as direct transcriptional repressors in a heterologous yeast system when fused to the DNA binding domain of Gal4. Mapping experiments indicate that either the A or the B domain of the pocket region is sufficient for repression in vivo. As is the case in mammalian cells, a phosphorylation site mutant of the retinoblastoma protein is a stronger transcriptional repressor than the wild type protein. We show that transcriptional repression by pRb is dependent on CLN3 in vivo. Furthermore, the yeast histone deacetylase components, RPD3 and SIN3, are required for transcriptional repression.