The interactions of Sendai virus proteins required for viral RNA synthesis have been characterized both by the yeast two-hybrid system and through the use of glutathione S-transferase (gst)-viral fusion proteins synthesized in mammalian cells. Using the two-hybrid system we have confirmed the previously identified P-L (RNA polymerase), NPo-P (encapsidation substrate), and P-P complexes and now demonstrate NP-NP and NPo-V protein interactions. Expression of gstP and P proteins and binding to glutathione-Sepharose beads as a measure of complex formation confirmed the P-P interaction. The P-gstP binding occurred only on expression of the proteins in the same cell and was mapped to amino acids 345-411. We also show that full-length and deletion gstV and gstW proteins bound NPo protein when these sets of proteins were coexpressed and have identified one required region from amino acids 78-316. Neither gstV nor gstW bound NP assembled into nucleocapsids. Furthermore, both V and W proteins lacking the N-terminal 77 amino acids inhibited DI-H genome replication in vitro, showing the biological relevance of the remaining region. We propose that the specific inhibition of genome replication by V and W proteins occurs through interference with either the formation or the use of the NPo-P encapsidation substrate.