Mammalian cell nuclei exhibit discrete sites where specific proteins characteristically localize. PML nuclear bodies (PML NBs) (nuclear domain 10s (ND10s)) are the primary localization site for the promyelocytic leukemia (PML) protein and the SP100 autoantigen. The observations that some PML and SP100 isoforms can function as transcriptional regulators, that both the size and number of PML bodies increase in response to interferon treatment, and that many mammalian viruses encode proteins that mediate disruption of PML bodies suggest that these sites suppress viral infection, perhaps by repressing viral gene expression. We hypothesized that a component of PML NBs functions as a repressor of gene expression. To test this hypothesis, we characterized the effect of PML or SP100 isoforms on expression of transfected reporter genes. PML-I, PML-VI, and SP100A did not repress reporter gene expression. In contrast, SP100B repressed reporter gene expression, especially under conditions in which the reporter gene expression was elevated by a viral transactivator or addition of trichostatin A to the culture medium. The SP100B DNA binding domain was required for repression. SP100B had no detectable effect on the amount, methylation pattern, or topological form of plasmid DNA in the nuclei of transfected cells. The demonstrated repressive activity of SP100B supports the hypothesis that SP100B is a component of an innate immune response that represses expression of ectopic DNA.