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DNA primase isolated from human mitochondria sediments in glycerol density gradients at 30S and 70S. These unusually high sedimentation coefficients are a result of association of the primase activity with RNA. Treatment of primase with nuclease not only affects its sedimentation behavior, but also inactivates the primase activity. The major RNA species that cofractionates with primase activity is shown by direct sequence analysis to be cytosolic 5.8S ribosomal RNA (rRNA). Specific degradation of endogenous 5.8S rRNA using ribonuclease H and oligonucleotides complementary to 5.8S rRNA results in reduction of primase activity. Other small RNAs may play a structural role in the formation of an active DNA primase complex.