Complex, multiprotein forms of bovine (calf thymus), hamster (Chinese hamster ovary cell), and human (HeLa) cell DNA polymerase alpha (Pol alpha) were analyzed for their content of calmodulin-binding proteins. The approach used an established autoradiographic technique employing 125I-labeled calmodulin to probe proteins in denaturing SDS-polyacrylamide gel electropherograms. All three Pol alpha enzymes were associated with discrete, Ca2+-dependent calmodulin-binding proteins. Conventionally purified calf thymus Pol alpha holoenzyme contained three prominent, trifluoperazine-sensitive species with apparent molecular masses of approx. 120, 80 and 48 kDa. The 120 and 48 kDa species remained associated with the polymerase.primase core of the calf enzyme during immunopurification with monoclonal antibodies directed specifically against the polymerase subunit. The patterns of the calmodulin-binding proteins displayed by conventionally purified preparations of hamster and human Pol alpha enzymes were similar to each other and distinctly different from the pattern of comparable preparations of calf thymus Pol alpha. Immunopurified preparations of the human and hamster Pol alphas retained significant calmodulin-binding activity of apparent molecular masses of approx. 55, 80 and 150-200 kDa.