Using the infectious clone for Zaire ebolavirus, the functional specificity of viral proteins of the ribonucleoprotein complex in transcription/replication was investigated by substituting them with heterologous proteins derived from closely (Reston ebolavirus) and distantly related filoviruses (Marburgvirus). The data clearly demonstrated that transcription/replication are neither strictly species-specific nor genus-specific. Protein interactions between the nucleoprotein NP and the virion protein VP35 and the polymerase L and VP35 seemed to be the most critical steps. In contrast to previous data, viral proteins were able to target heterologous filovirus RNA. Together these results indicated that protein-protein interactions are more critical than protein-RNA interactions.