The replicase gene (gene 1) of the coronavirus mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) encodes two co-amino-terminal polyproteins presumed to incorporate all the virus-encoded proteins necessary for viral RNA synthesis. The polyproteins are cotranslationally processed by viral proteinases into at least 15 mature proteins, including four predicted cleavage products of less than 25 kDa that together would comprise the final 59 kDa of protein translated from open reading frame 1a. Monospecific antibodies directed against the four distinct domains detected proteins of 10, 12, and 15 kDa (p1a-10, p1a-12, and p1a-15) in MHV-A59-infected DBT cells, in addition to a previously identified 22-kDa protein (p1a-22). When infected cells were probed by immunofluorescence laser confocal microscopy, p1a-10, -22, -12, and -15 were detected in discrete foci that were prominent in the perinuclear region but were widely distributed throughout the cytoplasm as well. Dual-labeling experiments demonstrated colocalization of the majority of p1a-22 in replication complexes with the helicase, nucleocapsid, and 3C-like proteinase, as well as with p1a-10, -12, and -15. p1a-22 was also detected in separate foci adjacent to the replication complexes. The majority of complexes containing the gene 1 proteins were distinct from sites of accumulation of the M assembly protein. However, in perinuclear regions the gene 1 proteins and nucleocapsid were intercalated with sites of M protein localization. These results demonstrate that the complexes known to be involved in RNA synthesis contain multiple gene 1 proteins and are closely associated with structural proteins at presumed sites of virion assembly.