Probes derived from cDNAs encoding isozymes of rat protein kinase C (PKC) were used to screen the genome of the budding yeast S. cerevisiae. A single gene (PKC1) was isolated that encodes a putative protein kinase closely related to the alpha, beta, and gamma subspecies of mammalian PKC. Deletion of PKC1 resulted in recessive lethality. Cells depleted of the PKC1 gene product displayed a uniform phenotype, a characteristic of cell division cycle (cdc) mutants, and arrested cell division at a point subsequent to DNA replication, but prior to mitosis. Unlike most cdc mutants, which continue to grow in the absence of cell division, PKC1-depleted cells arrested growth with small buds. PKC1 may regulate a previously unrecognized checkpoint in the cell cycle.