We have shown that E1 and E2 proteins of human papillomavirus type 11 (HPV-11) were essential to support the replication of the homologous viral origin (ori) in a transient replication assay, similar to reports on bovine papillomavirus type 1 (BPV-1). Unexpectedly, matched or even mixed combinations of E1 and E2 proteins from HPV-11 or BPV-1 replicated either ori in human, monkey, and rodent cell lines of epithelial or fibroblastic lineage, albeit with varied efficiencies. Either set of viral proteins was also able to initiate replication of ori-containing plasmids from many other human and animal papillomaviruses. Thus the interactions among the cis elements and trans factors of papillomaviruses are more conserved than expected from the other members of the papovavirus family, simian virus 40 and polyomavirus, for which large tumor antigen does not replicate a heterologous ori in either permissive or nonpermissive cells. We infer that the stringent species and tissue specificities observed for papillomaviruses in vivo are not entirely due to direct restrictions on viral DNA replication. Rather, transcriptional control of viral gene expression must play a dominant role.