The Saccharomyces cerevisiae ZDS1 and ZDS2 genes were identified as multicopy suppressors in distinct genetic screens but were found to encode highly similar proteins. We show that at semipermissive temperatures, a yeast strain with a cdc28-1N allele was uniquely deficient in plasmid maintenance in comparison with strains harboring other cdc28 thermolabile alleles. Quantitative analysis of plasmid loss rates in cdc28-1N strains carrying plasmids with multiple replication origins suggests that a defect in initiating DNA replication probably causes this plasmid loss phenotype. The ZDS1 gene was isolated as a multicopy suppressor of the cdc28-1N plasmid loss defect. A zds1 deletion exhibits genetic interactions with cdc28-1N but not with other cdc28 alleles. SIN4 encodes a protein which is part of the RNA polymerase II holoenzyme-mediator complex, and a sin4 null mutation has pleiotropic effects suggesting roles in transcriptional regulation and chromatin structure. The ZDS2 gene was isolated as a multicopy suppressor of the temperature-sensitive growth defect caused by the sin4 null mutation. Disruption of either ZDS1 or ZDS2 causes only modest phenotypes. However, a strain with both ZDS1 and ZDS2 disrupted is extremely slowly growing, has marked defects in bud morphology, and shows defects in completing S phase or entering mitosis.