H2A.Y is an essential, divergent Tetrahymena thermophila histone variant. It has a long nonhistone N terminus that contains leucine-rich repeats (LRR) and an LRR cap domain with similarity to Sds22p, a regulator of yeast protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) activity in the nucleus. In growing cells, H2A.Y is incorporated into micronuclei only during S phase, which occurs immediately after micronuclear mitosis. Depletion of H2A.Y causes prolonged retention of mitosis-associated histone H3-S10 phosphorylation and mitotic abnormalities that mimic S10E mutation. In cells where H2A.Y is depleted, an inducible chimeric gene, in which the H2A.Y N terminus is attached to H2A.X, is shown to regulate micronuclear H3-S10 phosphorylation. H2A.Y can also be specifically coimmunoprecipitated with a Tetrahymena PP1 ortholog (Ppo1p). Taken together, these results argue that the N terminus of H2A.Y functions to regulate H3-S10 dephosphorylation. This striking in vivo case of "cross-talk" between a H2A variant and a specific post-translational modification of another histone demonstrates a novel function for a histone variant.