HeLa DNA polymerase epsilon (pol epsilon), possibly involved in both DNA replication and DNA repair, consists of a catalytic subunit of 261 kDa and a tightly bound peptide with a relative molecular mass of 55 kDa. The cDNA of the 261-kDa polypeptide has been independently cloned, sequenced, and then overexpressed in insect cells to give a soluble, but catalytically unstable protein, suggesting that the small subunit of HeLa pol epsilon might be important for stability. HeLa pol epsilon has been isolated by immunoaffinity purification to obtain sequence information which enabled the cloning of a full-length human cDNA encoding the small subunit. The clone encoded nine proteolytic peptides obtained from the subunit. The 59,434-Da predicated polypeptide has 26% identity and 44% homology to the yeast pol epsilon 80-kDa subunit, DPB2. Using fluorescence in situ hybridization, the human pol epsilon p59 locus (DPE2) was assigned to chromosome 14q13-q21.