In this report, we show that the Saccharomyces cerevisiae protein Tpa1p (for termination and polyadenylation) influences translation termination efficiency, mRNA poly(A) tail length, and mRNA stability. Tpa1p is encoded by the previously uncharacterized open reading frame YER049W. Yeast strains carrying a deletion of the TPA1 gene (tpa1Δ) exhibited increased readthrough of stop codons, and coimmunoprecipitation assays revealed that Tpa1p interacts with the translation termination factors eRF1 and eRF3. In addition, the tpa1Δ mutation led to a 1.5- to 2-fold increase in the half-lives of mRNAs degraded by the general 5′→3′ pathway or the 3′→5′ nonstop decay pathway. In contrast, this mutation did not have any affect on the nonsense-mediated mRNA decay pathway. Examination of mRNA poly(A) tail length revealed that poly(A) tails are longer than normal in a tpa1Δ strain. Consistent with a potential role in regulating poly(A) tail length, Tpa1p was also found to coimmunoprecipitate with the yeast poly(A) binding protein Pab1p. These results suggest that Tpa1p is a component of a messenger ribonucleoprotein complex bound to the 3′ untranslated region of mRNAs that affects translation termination, deadenylation, and mRNA decay. Copyright © 2006, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.