Human adenovirus serotype 5 encodes three proteins, E1b 55K, E4 Orf3 and E4 Orf6, which interact with each other and with components of the nucleus to regulate mRNA processing and export, viral DNA replication and p53-dependent apoptosis. Previous studies have shown that, during wild-type infection, 55K associates initially with structures termed ND10, which are sites of localization of the promyelocytic leukaemia protein, and then moves, dependent upon its interaction with Orf6, to the establishing virus replication centres. Absence of either Orf3 or Orf6 affects the localization of 55K and so may affect its function. In this study, the influence of Orf3 and Orf6 expression on the association of 55K with the insoluble matrix fraction of the nucleus and with ND10 particularly was examined. Overexpression of Orf6 was sufficient to block the association of 55K with this fraction, irrespective of the presence of Orf3. This effect depended upon the two proteins being able to interact. However, the association of 55K with ND10, which persists throughout infection in the absence of Orf6, required Orf3 to be present, thus distinguishing two subsets of matrix-associated 55K. A modified form of 55K, formation of which was blocked by mutating the known site of SUMO-1 attachment, was more abundant in the absence of Orf6 but unaffected by the absence of Orf3. Thus, this modification is favoured when 55K remains associated with the matrix but does not correlate with its stable association with ND10, many components of which are modified by SUMO-1.