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Loss of function of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe gap1 gene results in the same phenotypes as those caused by an activated ras1 mutation, i.e., hypersensitivity to the mating factor and inability to perform efficient mating. Sequence analysis of gap1 indicates that it encodes a homolog of the mammalian Ras GTPase-activating protein (GAP). The predicted gap1 gene product has 766 amino acids with relatively short N- and C-terminal regions flanking the conserved core sequence of GAP. Genetic analysis suggests that S. pombe Gap1 functions primarily as a negative regulator of Ras1, like S. cerevisiae GAP homologs encoded by IRA1 and IRA2, but is unlikely to be a downstream effector of the Ras protein, a role proposed for mammalian GAP. Thus, Gap1 and Ste6, a putative GDP-GTP-exchanging protein for Ras1 previously identified, appear to play antagonistic roles in the Ras-GTPase cycle in S. pombe. Furthermore, we suggest that this Ras-GTPase cycle involves the ra12 gene product, another positive regulator of Ras1 whose homologs have not been identified in other organisms, which could function either as a second GDP-GTP-exchanging protein or as a factor that negatively regulates Gap1 activity.