RNA polymerase III promoters direct the ubiquitous, high-level, expression of small, stable RNAs such as tRNAs, and thus are attractive candidates for achieving stable expression of small therapeutic (e.g., antiviral) molecules, such as ribozymes or antisense RNAs. In this article, we describe the use of a nonviral vector containing a tRNA promoter to express an antilymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) ribozyme (tRNA-Rib5). The chimeric tRNA-ribozyme is specifically and efficiently transcribed by pol III in cell-free extracts, and the resulting transcript has appropriate ribozyme activity. In tissue culture studies, high levels of chimeric transcripts were readily detectable and were transported to the cytoplasm, the site of LCMV replication. Despite accumulation of tRNA-Rib5 in the cytoplasm of stably transformed cell clones, antiviral effects were minimal or absent. The implications of these findings and the potential use of this vector system for in vivo studies requiring the delivery of small molecules are discussed.