Human cyclin/PCNA (proliferating cell nuclear antigen) is structurally, functionally, and immunologically homologous to the calf thymus auxiliary protein for DNA polymerase δ. This auxiliary protein has been investigated as a stimulatory factor for the nuclear DNA polymerases from S. cerevisiae. Calf cyclin/PCNA enhances by more than ten-fold the ability of DNA polymerase III to replicate templates with high template/primer ratios, e.g. poly(dA)·oligo(dT) (40:1). The degree of stimulation increases with the template/primer ratio. At a high template/primer ratio, i.e. low primer density, cyclin/PCNA greatly increases processive DNA synthesis by DNA polymerase III. At low template/primer ratios (e.g. poly(dA)·oligo(dT) (2.5:1), where addition of cyclin/PCNA only minimally increases the processivity of DNA polymerase III, a several-fold stimulation of total DNA synthesis is still observed. This indicates that cyclin/PCNA may also increase productive binding of DNA polymerase III to the template-primer and stabilize the template-primer-polymerase complex. The activity of yeast DNA polymerases I and II is not affected by addition of cyclin/PCNA. These results strengthen the hypothesis that yeast DNA polymerase III is functionally analogous to the mammalian DNA polymerase δ.