We have screened a human cDNA expression library with a digoxygenin-labelled protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) probe to identify novel PP1 interacting proteins. Eleven cDNA clones were isolated, which included genes encoding two previously characterised and six novel PP1 binding proteins. Three of the cDNAs encoded a protein called host cell factor (HCF), which is an essential component of the cellular complex required for the transcription of the herpes simplex virus (HSV) immediate-early (IE) genes. We demonstrate that HCF and PP1 exist as a complex in nuclear extracts and that this complex is distinct from the form of HCF that associates with HSV VP16. The data suggest novel roles for HCF and PP1, which may be relevant to their functions in transcription and cell cycle progression.