In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, genetic studies suggest that the RIM1 gene encodes a positive regulator of meiosis. rim1 mutations cause reduced expression of IME1, which is required for expression of many meiotic genes, and thus lead to a partial defect in meiosis and spore formation. We report the sequence of RIM1 and functional analysis of its coding region. The RIM1 gene product (RIM1) contains three regions similar to C2H2 zinc fingers. Serine substitutions for cysteine in each of the putative zinc fingers abolish RIM1 function. The carboxyl-terminus of RIM1 is enriched in acidic amino acids and is required for full RIM1 activity. RIM1 also contains two putative cAMP-dependent protein kinase (cAPK) phosphorylation sites. At one site, substitution of alanine for serine does not affect RIM1 activity; at the other site, this substitution impairs activity. This analysis of RIM1 suggests that the protein may function as a transcriptional activator. We have used the cloned RIM1 gene to create a complete rim1 deletion. This null allele, like previously isolated rim1 mutations, causes a partial meiotic defect. In addition to RIM1, maximum IME1 expression requires the MCK1 and IME4 gene products. Defects associated with rim1, mck1, and ime4 mutations in expression of a meiotic reporter gene (ime2-lacZ) and in sporulation are additive. These findings suggest that RIM1 acts independently of MCK1 and IME4 to stimulate IME1 expression.