The adenovirus-encoded 140-kDa DNA polymerase (Ad Pol) and the 59-kDa DNA binding protein (Ad DBP) are both required for the replication of viral DNA in vivo and in vitro. Previous studies demonstrated that, when poly(dT).oligo(dA) was used as a template-primer, both proteins were required for poly(dA) synthesis. In this report, the interaction between the Ad Pol and Ad DBP was further investigated using poly(dT).oligo(dA) as well as a linear duplex molecule containing 3' poly(dT) tails. DNA synthesis with the tailed template required Ad Pol, Ad DBP, and an oligo(dA) primer hydrogen bonded to the poly(dT) tails. Incorporation was stimulated 8-10-fold by ATP; however, no evidence of ATP hydrolysis to ADP was observed. Synthesis was initiated at either end of the tailed molecule and proceeded through the duplex region to the end of the molecule. This ability to translocate through duplex DNA and to synthesize long poly(dA) chains suggests that the Ad Pol.Ad DBP complex can act efficiently in the elongation reactions involved in the replication of Ad DNA (both type I and type II). During the replication reaction, substantial hydrolysis of deoxynucleoside triphosphates to the corresponding deoxynucleoside monophosphates occurred. This reaction required DNA synthesis and most likely reflects an idling reaction similar to that observed with other DNA polymerases containing 3'----5' exonuclease activity in which the polymerase first incorporates and then hydrolyzes a dNMP.