Human cytomegalovirus-induced DNA polymerase and cellular DNA polymerase alpha were purified by successive chromatography on DEAE-cellulose, phosphocellulose, heparin agarose, and single-stranded DNA agarose columns. The purified virus-induced DNA polymerase was resolved to consist of two polypeptides corresponding to molecular weights of 140,000 and 58,000, as analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Virus-induced DNA polymerase and cellular alpha polymerase were examined for their sensitivities to the triphosphates of 1-(2'-deoxy-2'-fluoro-beta-D-arabinofuranosyl)-5-methyluracil (FMAUTP), -5-iodocytosine (FIACTP), and -5-methylcytosine (FMACTP). The inhibitive effects of these triphosphates on the DNA polymerases were competitive with regard to the natural substrates; thus FMAUTP competes with dTTP, and FIACTP and FMACTP compete with dCTP. The inhibition constants (Ki) for FMAUTP, FIACTP, and FMACTP of virus-induced DNA polymerase are 0.06, 0.30, and 0.47 microM, respectively. Cellular DNA polymerase alpha is much less sensitive to these inhibitors, and its Ki values for FMAUTP, FIACTP, and FMACTP are 0.45, 3.10, and 2.90 microM, respectively. In addition, human cytomegalovirus-induced DNA polymerase, but not cellular DNA polymerase alpha, can utilize these analog triphosphates as alternate substrates for their corresponding natural deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates in in vitro DNA synthesis.