The anaphase-promoting complex (APC) is a multisubunit E3 ubiquitin ligase that targets specific cell cycle-related proteins for degradation, regulating progression from metaphase to anaphase and exit from mitosis. The APC is regulated by binding of the coactivator proteins Cdc20p and Cdh1p, and by phosphorylation. We have developed a purification strategy that allowed us to purify the budding yeast APC to near homogeneity and identify two novel APC-associated proteins, Swm1p and Mnd2p. Using an in vitro ubiquitylation system and a native gel binding assay, we have characterized the properties of wild-type and mutant APC. We show that both the D and KEN boxes contribute to substrate recognition and that coactivator is required for substrate binding. APC lacking Apc9p or Doc1p/Apc10 have impaired E3 ligase activities. However, whereas Apc9p is required for structural stability and the incorporation of Cdc27p into the APC complex, Doc1p/Apc10 plays a specific role in substrate recognition by APC-coactivator complexes. These results imply that Doc1p/Apc10 may play a role to regulate the binding of specific substrates, similar to that of the coactivators.