Escherichia coli phage Qbeta RNA replicase, an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RNA-dependent RNA nucleotidyltransferase), is a tetramer composed of one phage-coded polypeptide and three host-supplied polypeptides which are known to function in the biosynthesis of proteins in the uninfected host. Two of these polypeptides, protein synthesis elongation factors EF-Tu and EF-Ts, can be covalently crosslinked with dimethyl suberimidate to form a complex which lacks the ability to catalyze the known host functions catalyzed by the individual elongation factors. Using a previously developed reconstitution system we have examined the effects of crosslinking the EF-Tu-Ts complex on reconstituted replicase activity. Renaturation is significantly more efficient when exogenously added native EF-Tu-Ts is crosslinked than when it is not. Crosslinked EF-Tu-Ts can be purified from a crude crosslinked postribosomal supernatant by its ability to replace EF-Tu and EF-Ts in the renaturation of denatured Qbeta replicase. A sample of Qbeta replicase with crosslinked EF-Tu-Ts replacing the individual elongation factors was prepared. Although it lacked EF-Tu and EF-Ts activities, it could initiate transcription of both poly(C) and Qbeta RNA normally and had approximately the same specific activity as control enzyme. Denatured Qbeta replicase formed with crosslinked EF-Tu-Ts was found to renature much more rapidly than untreated enzyme and, in contrast to normal replicase, its renaturation was not inhibited by GDP. The results demonstrate that EF-Tu and EF-Ts function as complex in Qbeta replicase and do not perform their known protein biosynthetic function in the RNA synthetic reaction.