In polyoma-infected mouse kidney cell cultures 5S RNA synthesis began to increase around 16 h, i.e. 7-9 h after the onset of polyoma T-antigen synthesis. The rate of polyoma-induced 5S RNA synthesis reached a maximum plateau around 25 h when it was 1.8-2.0 times higher than in mock-infected parallel cultures. Stimulation of 5S RNA synthesis in vivo thus coincided in time with the increase in total cellular RNA and protein. Cell-free extracts (S100) prepared at 15 h from mock-(S100-M) or polyoma-infected (S100-Py) mouse kidney cell cultures were indistinguishable with respect to protein concentration and 5S RNA synthesis, using a cloned somatic Xenopus borealis 5S gene as template. S100-Py extracted 25 h after infection contained 30% more protein and synthesized 1.5-2.0 times more 5S RNA than S100-M. Complete removal of the polyoma T-antigens from S100-Py by 3 cycles of immunoprecipitation with hamster anti-T serum remained without effect on stimulated 5S RNA synthesis. However, a linear relationship between 5S RNA synthesis and protein concentration of S100-M and S100-Py was observed.