Nuclear protein factor type 1 (NPF-1) that simulates IMR-32 primase-associated DNA polymerase alpha 1 and alpha 2 activities has been purified from a high-salt extract of liver chromatin from 6-month-old rats. The final purified factor lacks DNA polymerase alpha, RNA polymerase, and DNA-unwinding or topoisomerase type I activities. The stimulatory activity is destroyed by trypsin (60 min at 37 degrees C), DNase II (60 min at 37 degrees C), and heat treatment (2 min at 68 degrees C). The 125I-labeled NPF-1 does not bind to activated calf thymus DNA or poly(dC). However, it forms a ternary complex with DNA in the presence of DNA polymerase alpha-primase complex (alpha 1 and alpha 2). The ternary complex sediments on sucrose density gradient as a heavier band (11S). The NPF-1 also stimulates (2.5-fold) primase-catalyzed incorporation of GMP and dGMP from the corresponding triphosphates on poly(dC) template even in the presence of a high concentration of alpha-amanitin (400 micrograms/ml). The labeled duplex containing the poly(dC) template, [32P]-GTP, and [3H]dGTP loses 80% of the 32P label and 70% of the 3H label after treatment with 0.3 M KOH and DNase I, respectively. The products were isolated from reaction mixtures incubated with and without NPF-1 and subjected to alkaline sucrose-density-gradient sedimentation analysis. The results suggest that the rate of synthesis of DNA short chains is increased in the presence of NPF-1 without a concomitant increase in the chain length of the newly synthesized products.