The diterpene ester promoter of mouse skin tumors, 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA), efficiently induces Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated DNA polymerase (DNA nucleotidyltransferase) activity in the EBV-producing lymphoblastoid cell line, P3HR-1. With the use of intervent dilution chromatography followed by sequential DEAE-cellulose and phosphocellulose column chromatography, the virus-associated enzyme has been isolated and purified 300-fold. The partially purified EBV DNA polymerase activity could be distinguished from cellular polymerases by its activation with salt and its degree of sensitivity to N-ethylmaleimide and phosphonoacetic acid. The enzyme showed maximum activity for copying activated calf thymus DNA in the presence of 100 mM ammonium sulfate. In the absence of salt, the enzyme utilized with high efficiency deoxyoligomer-homopolymer templates, but failed to copy poly(rA) . oligo(dT)10 and oligo(dT)10, showing that the enzyme had properties distinct from DNA polymerase gamma, reverse transcriptase, and terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase. The partially purified enzyme is strongly inhibited by acyclovir triphosphate and thus has properties similar to herpes simplex virus DNA polymerase.