Fractions containing a high molecular weight form (Mr approximately equal to 2 X 10(6] of the activity that replicates in vitro both the 2-micron yeast DNA plasmid and the chromosomal autonomously replicating sequence ars 1 can be prepared from cells of the budding yeast Saccharomyces. Protein complexes from the fractions associate in vitro with the replication origins of these DNA elements, as determined by electron microscopy. In the present study, the high molecular weight replicative fraction has been characterized in further detail. The DNA synthetic activity in the high molecular weight fraction was bound to the DNA and could be isolated with it. This binding of the replicating activity to the DNA was greatly reduced in the absence of the 2-micron origins of replication. Association of the protein complexes with DNA depended on the amount of replicating activity added, was sensitive to 0.2 M KCl, and exhibited a requirement for rATP and deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates. It was not blocked, however, by the DNA polymerase inhibitor aphidicolin or by the RNA polymerase inhibitor alpha-amanitin. The lack of inhibition by aphidicolin suggests that the deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates may function as cofactors in the binding of protein complexes to DNA or as substrates for a polymerizing activity such as a primase. Binding of the protein complexes as well as actual DNA replication were heat sensitive in the high molecular weight fraction prepared from the temperature-sensitive mutant of the cell division cycle cdc 8. This suggests that the cdc 8 gene product is present in a replicative protein complex and strengthens the conclusion that the presence of the protein complexes on the DNA is associated with replication. Using independent enzyme assays, several other possible replication proteins (including DNA polymerase I, DNA ligase, DNA primase, and DNA topoisomerase II) have been identified directly in the high molecular weight replicative fraction. All of these results provide support for the idea that a protein complex (or replisome ) is involved in the replication of both the extrachromosomal 2-micron DNA and chromosomal DNA in yeast.