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We report the isolation and characterization of pds1 mutants in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The initial pds1-1 allele was identified by its inviability after transient exposure to microtubule inhibitors and its precocious dissociation of sister chromatids in the presence of these microtubule inhibitors. These findings suggest that pds1 mutants might be defective in anaphase arrest that normally is imposed by a spindle-damage checkpoint. To further examine a role for Pds1p in anaphase arrest, we compared the cell cycle arrest of pds1 mutants and PDS1 cells after: (a) the inactivation of Cdc16p or Cdc23p, two proteins that are required for the degradation of mitotic cyclins and are putative components of the yeast anaphase promoting complex (APC); (b) the inactivation of Cdc20p, another protein implicated in the degradation of mitotic cyclins; and (c) the inactivation of Cdc13 protein or gamma irradiation, two circumstances that induce a DNA- damage checkpoint. Under all these conditions, anaphase is inhibited in PDS1 cells but not in pds1 mutants. From these results we suggest that Pds1 protein is an anaphase inhibitor in PDS1 cells but not in pds1 mutants. From these results we suggest that Pds1 protein is an anaphase inhibitor that plays a critical role in the control of anaphase by both APC and checkpoints. We also show that pds1 mutants exit mitosis and initiate new rounds of cell division after gamma irradiation and Cdc13p inactivation but no after nocodazole-treatment or inactivation of Cdc16p, Cdc20p or Cdc23p function. Therefore, in the DNA-damage checkpoint, Pds1p is required for the inhibition of cytokinesis and DNA replication as well as anaphase. The role of Pds1 protein in anaphase inhibition and general cell cycle regulation is discussed.