In order to learn more about other proteins that may be involved in repression of HML and HMR in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, extragenic suppressor mutations were identified that could restore repression in cells defective in SIR4, a gene required for function of the silencer elements flanking HML and HMR. These suppressor mutations, which define at least three new genes, SAN1, SAN2 and SAN3, arose at the frequency expected for loss-of-function mutations following mutagenesis. All san mutations were recessive. Suppression by san1 was allele-nonspecific, since san1 could suppress two very different alleles of SIR4, and was locus-specific since san1 was unable to suppress a SIR3 mutation or a variety of mutations conferring auxotrophies. The SAN1 gene was cloned, sequenced, and used to construct a null allele. The null allele had the same phenotype as the EMS-induced mutations and exhibited no pleiotropies of its own. Thus, the SAN1 gene was not essential. SAN1-mediated suppression was neither due to compensatory mutations in interacting proteins, nor to translational missense suppression. SAN1 may act posttranslationally to control the stability or activity of the SIR4 protein.