Résumé : To understand the dynamics of the cell cycle, we need to characterize the balance between cell cycle arrest and cell proliferation, which is often deregulated in cancers. We address this issue by means of a detailed computational model for the network of cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks) driving the mammalian cell cycle. Previous analysis of the model focused on how this balance is controlled by growth factors (GFs) or the levels of activators (oncogenes) and inhibitors (tumour suppressors) of cell cycle progression. Supra-threshold changesin the level of anyofthese factors can trigger a switch in the dynamical behaviour of the Cdk network corresponding to a bifurcation between a stable steady state, associated with cell cycle arrest, and sustained oscillations of the various cyclin/Cdk complexes, corresponding to cell proliferation. Here, we focus on the regulation of cell proliferation by cellular environmental factors external to the Cdk network, such as the extracellular matrix (ECM), and contact inhibition, which increases with cell density. We extend the model for the Cdk network by including the phenomenological effect of both the ECM, which controls the activation of the focal adhesion kinase (FAK) that promotes cell cycle progression, and cell density, which inhibits cell proliferation via the Hippo/YAP pathway. The model shows that GFs and FAK activation are capable of triggering in a similar dynamical manner the transition to cell proliferation, while the Hippo/YAP pathway can arrest proliferation once cell density passes a critical threshold. The results account for the dependence or independence of cell proliferation on serum and/or cell anchorage to ECM. Whether the balance in the Cdk network is tilted towards cell cycle arrest or proliferation depends on the direction in which the threshold associated with the bifurcation is passed once the cell integrates the multiple, internal or external signals that promote or impede progression in the cell cycle. © 2014 The Authors.