An understanding of the protein-DNA interactions in vivo at origins of DNA replication in eukaryotes is essential to delineate the mechanism of initiation of DNA synthesis and its control in the cell cycle. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a family of sequences known as autonomously replicating sequences (ARSs) function as origins of bidirectional DNA replication on plasmids and, in several instances, also in their normal chromosomal location. Here we use nucleotide resolution genomic footprinting to investigate the association of proteins with ARS1. Nuclease protection patterns indicate that at least two different cellular factors interact with functional elements in ARS1. The first seems to be ARS-binding factor 1. The second seems to be a novel protein that generates extensive protection over the essential ARS consensus sequence and phased DNaseI-sensitive sites across a functionally important flanking sequence. Hypersensitivity of this region to cleavage by copper phenanthroline indicates that it is under torsional strain, analogous to that produced at transcriptional start sites by assembly of an initiation complex. The protection in situ is similar to that generated by the origin recognition complex (ORC) protein.