In vivo, replication of T7 DNA does not occur after infection of Escherchia coli tsnC mutants (CHAMBERLIN, M. (1974) J. Virol. 14, 509-516). In vitro, extracts of tsnC mutant E. coli infected with T7 hage are incapable of replicating duplex T7 DNA, although extracts of wild type E. coli infected with T7 phage support replication of T7 DNA. In addition, extracts of the infected tsnC mutant are deficient in T7 DNA polymerase activity. Extracts prepared from uninfected E.coli tsnC-+ cells restore the ability of the infected tsnC extracts to replicate duplex T7 DNA, and also restore normal levels of the phage DNA polymerase activity. A 12,000-dalton heat-stable protein responsible for this complementation has been purified to near homogeneity from uninfected tsnC+ extracts and it is designated "TsnC protein."