Yeast Ty1 elements are retrotransposons that transpose via an RNA intermediate found in a virus-like particle (Ty-VLP). A Ty-encoded reverse transcriptase activity found inside the particles is capable of giving rise to full-length reverse transcripts. The predominant form of these reverse transcripts is a full-length linear duplex DNA. We have developed a cell-free system for transposition of Ty1 DNA molecules into a bacteriophage lambda target. Purified Ty-VLPs and target DNA are the only macromolecular components required for the transposition reaction. A TYB-encoded protein, p90-TYB, contains amino acid sequences that are similar to those of retroviral integrase proteins. Mutations in the integrase coding region abolish transposition both in vivo and in vitro.