During the past few years significant progress has been made in our understanding of the structure and function of the proteins involved in eukaryotic DNA replication. Data from several laboratories suggest that, in contrast to prokaryotic DNA replication, two distinct DNA polymerases are required for eukaryotic DNA replication, i.e. DNA polymerase delta for the synthesis of the leading strand and DNA polymerase alpha for the lagging strand. Several accessory proteins analogous to prokaryotic replication factors have been identified and some of these are specific for pol delta whereas others affect both DNA replicases. The replicases and their accessory proteins appear to be highly conserved in eukaryotes, as homologous proteins have been found in species ranging from humans to yeast.