Human single-stranded DNA binding protein (human SSB) is a multisubunit protein containing polypeptides of 70, 34, and 11 kDa that is required for SV40 DNA replication in vitro. In this report we identify the functions of the SSB and its individual subunits in SV40 DNA replication. The 70 kDa subunit was found to bind to single-stranded DNA, whereas the other subunits did not. Four monoclonal antibodies against human SSB were isolated which inhibited SV40 DNA replication in vitro. The antibodies have been designated alpha SSB70A, alpha SSB70B, alpha SSB70C, and alpha SSB34A to indicate which subunits are recognized. Immunolocalization experiments indicated that human SSB is a nuclear protein. Human SSB is required for the SV40 large tumor antigen-catalyzed unwinding of SV40 DNA and stimulates DNA polymerases (pol) alpha and delta. The DNA unwinding reaction and stimulation of pol delta were blocked by alpha SSB70C, whereas the stimulation of pol alpha by human SSB was unaffected by this antibody. Conversely, alpha SSB70A, -70B, and -34A inhibited the stimulation of pol alpha, but they had no effect on DNA unwinding and pol delta stimulation. None of the antibodies inhibited the binding of SSB to single-stranded DNA. These results suggest that DNA unwinding and stimulation of pol alpha and pol delta are required functions of human SSB in SV40 DNA replication. The human SSB 70-kDa subunit appears to be required for DNA unwinding and pol delta stimulation, whereas both the 70- and 34-kDa subunits may be involved in the stimulation of pol alpha.