As part of an effort to expand the genetic alphabet, we examined the synthesis of DNA with six different unnatural nucleotides bearing methoxy-derivatized nucleobase analogues. Different nucleobase substitution patterns were used to systematically alter the nucleobase electronics, sterics, and hydrogen-bonding potential. We determined the ability of the Klenow fragment of E. coli DNA polymerase I to synthesize and extend the different unnatural base pairs and mispairs under steady-state conditions. Unlike other hydrogen-bond acceptors examined in the past, the methoxy groups do not facilitate mispairing, implying that they are not recognized by any of the hydrogen-bond donors of the natural nucleobases; however, they do facilitate replication. The more efficient replication results largely from an increase in the rate of extension of primers terminating at the unnatural base pair and, interestingly, requires that the methoxy group be at the ortho position where it is positioned in the developing minor groove and can form a functionally important hydrogen bond with the polymerase. Thus, ortho methoxy groups should be generally useful for the effort to expand the genetic alphabet.