Delta helicase is a 5' to 3' DNA helicase that partially co-purifies with DNA polymerase delta (pol delta) from fetal bovine thymus tissue. We describe the resolution of delta helicase from pol delta on heparin-agarose chromatography and its purification to apparent homogeneity by affinity purification on single-stranded DNA-cellulose chromatography, unique-sequence RNA-agarose chromatography, and ceramic hydroxyapatite chromatography. Delta helicase isolated from fetal bovine thymus had an apparent M(r) of 115 kDa in SDS-PAGE, and photo-crosslinked to [alpha-32P]ATP. Tandem mass spectrometry peptide mass data derived from the bovine polypeptide matched to human UPF1 (HUPF1), a 5' to 3' RNA and DNA helicase, and a requisite component of the mRNA surveillance complex. Antisera against HUPF1 cross-reacted with delta helicase on western analysis, and delta helicase activity was immunoinactivated by pre-incubation with antibodies to HUPF1, suggesting that delta helicase is the bovine homolog of HUPF1. Immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrated that HUPF1 interacts with the 66-kDa third subunit of pol delta in vivo.