Replication of human papillomavirus type 11 (HPV-11) DNA requires the full-length viral E1 and E2 proteins (C.-M. Chiang, M. Ustav, A. Stenlund, T. F. Ho, T. R. Broker, and L. T. Chow, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 89:5799-5803, 1992). Using transient transfection of subgenomic HPV DNA into hamster CHO and human 293 cells, we have localized an origin of replication (ori) to an 80-bp segment in the upstream regulatory region spanning nucleotide 1. It overlaps the E6 promoter region and contains a short A+T-rich segment and a sequence which is homologous to the binding site of the bovine papillomavirus type 1 (BPV-1) E1 protein in the BPV-1 ori. However, unlike the BPV-1 ori, for which half an E2-responsive sequence (E2-RS) or binding site suffices, an intact binding site is essential for the HPV-11 ori. Replication was more efficient when additional E2-RSs were present. The intact HPV-11 genome also replicated in both cell lines when supplied with E1 and E2 proteins. Expression vectors of transcription repressor proteins that lack the N- terminal domain essential for E2 transcriptional trans activation did not support replication in collaboration with the E1 expression vector. Rather, cotransfection with the repressor expression vectors inhibited ori replication by the E1 and E2 proteins. These results demonstrate the importance of the N-terminal domain of the E2 protein in DNA replication and indicate that the family of E2 proteins positively and negatively regulates both viral DNA replication and E6 promoter transcription.