Synchronously proliferating TC7 monkey and 3T3 mouse cells were pulse labeled with [35S]methionine. Radioactively labeled DNA polymerase alpha was immunoprecipitated with polymerase-specific monoclonal antibodies. The precipitated polypeptides were identified by gel electrophoresis and fluorography. The increase in DNA polymerase alpha activity during S phase was accompanied by an increased synthesis of the enzyme. Some DNA polymerase alpha was synthesized in growth-arrested TC7 cells whereas the synthesis of the large polymerase subunit in 3T3 cells was strictly coupled to the replicative phase of the cell cycle. We also found that DNA polymerase alpha was more prone to proteolysis in TC7 cells than in 3T3 cells. In 3T3 cells, a polymerase subunit with an apparent molecular weight of 186 000 was observed; this subunit was most probably associated with two smaller subunits of Mr 74 000 and 52 000. Synthesis of these three polymerase-associated polypeptides appeared to be regulated differently.