The Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene CDC28 encodes a protein kinase required for cell cycle initiation. In an attempt to identify genes encoding proteins that interact with the Cdc28 protein kinase, high-copy plasmid suppressors of a temperature-sensitive cdc28 mutation were isolated. One such suppressor, CKS1, was found to encode an 18-kilodalton protein that shared a high degree of homology with the suc1+ protein (p13) of Schizosaccharomyces pombe (67% amino acid sequence identity). Disruption of the chromosomal CKS1 gene conferred a G1 arrest phenotype similar to that of cdc28 mutants. The presence of the 18-kilodalton Cks1 protein in yeast lysates was demonstrated by using Cks-1 specific antiserum. Furthermore, the Cks1 protein was shown to be physically associated with active forms of the Cdc28 protein kinase. These data suggest that Cks1 is an essential component of the Cdc28 protein kinase complex.