The replicative helicase unwinds parental double-stranded DNA at a replication fork to provide single-stranded DNA templates for the replicative polymerases. In eukaryotes, the replicative helicase is composed of the Cdc45 protein, the heterohexameric ring-shaped Mcm2-7 complex, and the tetrameric GINS complex (CMG). The CMG proteins bind directly to DNA, as demonstrated by experiments with purified proteins. The mechanism and function of these DNA-protein interactions are presently being investigated, and a number of important discoveries relating to how the helicase proteins interact with DNA have been reported recently. While some of the protein-DNA interactions directly relate to the unwinding function of the enzyme complex, other protein-DNA interactions may be important for minichromosome maintenance (MCM) loading, origin melting or replication stress. This review describes our current understanding of how the eukaryotic replicative helicase subunits interact with DNA structures in vitro, and proposed models for the in vivo functions of replicative helicase-DNA interactions are also described.