The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is proving to be an useful and accurate model for eukaryotic DNA replication. It contains both DNA polymerase alpha (I) and delta (III). Recently, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), which in mammalian cells is an auxiliary subunit of DNA polymerase delta and is essential for in vitro leading strand SV40 DNA replication, was purified from yeast. We have now cloned the gene for yeast PCNA (POL30). The gene codes for an essential protein of 29 kDa, which shows 35% homology with human PCNA. Cell cycle expression studies, using synchronized cells, show that expression of both the PCNA (POL30) and the DNA polymerase delta (POL3, or CDC2) genes of yeast are regulated in an identical fashion to that of the DNA polymerase alpha (POL1) gene. Thus, steady state mRNA levels increase 10-100-fold in late G1 phase, peak in early S-phase, and decrease to low levels in late S-phase. In addition, in meiosis mRNA levels increase prior to initiation of premeiotic DNA synthesis.