Rinderpest virus (RPV) is an important member of the Morbillivirus genus in the family Paramyxoviridae and employs a similar strategy for transcription and replication of its genome as that of other negative sense RNA viruses. Cellular proteins have earlier been shown to stimulate viral RNA synthesis by isolated nucleocapsids from purified virus or from virus-infected cells. In the present work, we show that plus sense leader RNA of RPV, transcribed from 3' end of genomic RNA, specifically interacts with cellular La protein employing gel mobility shift assay as well as UV cross-linking of leader RNA with La protein. The leader RNA synthesized in virus-infected cells was shown to interact with La protein by immunoprecipitation of leader RNA bound to La protein and detecting the leader RNA in the immunoprecipitate by Northern hybridization with labeled antisense leader RNA. Employing a minireplicon system, we demonstrate that transiently expressed La protein enhances the replication/transcription of the RPV minigenome in cells. Sub-cellular immunolocalization shows that La protein is redistributed from nucleus to the cytoplasm upon infection. Our results strongly suggest that La protein may be involved in regulation of Rinderpest virus replication.