We identified a novel human protein serine/threonine phosphatase cDNA, designated protein phosphatase 6 (PP6) by using a homology-based polymerase chain reaction. The predicted amino acid sequence indicates a 35 kDa protein showing high homology to other protein phosphatases including human PP2A (57%), human PP4 (59%), rat PPV (98%), Drosophila PPV (74%), Schizosaccharomyces pombe ppe1 (68%) and Saccharomyces cerevisiae Sit4p (61%). In human cells, three forms of PP6 mRNA were found with highest levels of expression in testis, heart and skeletal muscle. The PP6 protein was detected in lysates of human heart muscle and in bull testis. Complementation studies using a temperature sensitive mutant strain of S. cerevisiae SIT4, which is required for the G1 to S transition of the cell cycle, showed that PP6 can rescue the mutant growth arrest. In addition, a loss of function mutant of S. pombe ppe1, described as a gene interacting with the pim1/spi1 mitotic checkpoint and involved in cell shape control, can be complemented by expression of human PP6. These data indicate that human PP6 is a functional homologue of budding yeast Sit4p and fission yeast ppe1, implying a function of PP6 in cell cycle regulation.