Replication of human adenovirus (Ad) DNA requires three virus-encoded proteins that are coordinately transcribed from a single promoter at early times after infection. The mRNAs for two of these proteins, the preterminal protein (pTP) and the Ad DNA polymerase (Ad Pol), share several exons, including one encoded near Ad genome coordinate 39. Plasmids containing the putative exons that encode Ad Pol mRNA were constructed to determine if enzymatically active Ad Pol protein could be synthesized. An Ad Pol of 140 kDa was detected by immunoprecipitation with specific antibody and its enzymatic activity was confirmed by complementation of Ad DNA replication in vitro. In addition to an Ad2 DNA fragment from 24.7 to 9.2 map units which contains an open reading frame for a protein of 120 kDa, the HindIII-J fragment that encodes the exon at genome coordinate 39 can be shown to be essential for production of full-length (140 kDa), enzymatically active Ad Pol.