Base-J (β-D-glucopyranosyloxymethyluracil) is a modified DNA nucleotide that replaces 1% of thymine in kinetoplastid flagellates. The biosynthesis and maintenance of base-J depends on the base-J-binding protein 1 (JBP1) that has a thymidine hydroxylase domain and a J-DNA-binding domain (JDBD). How the thymidine hydroxylase domain synergizes with the JDBD to hydroxylate thymine in specific genomic sites, maintaining base-J during semi-conservative DNA replication, remains unclear. Here, we present a crystal structure of the JDBD including a previously disordered DNA-contacting loop and use it as starting point for molecular dynamics simulations and computational docking studies to propose recognition models for JDBD binding to J-DNA. These models guided mutagenesis experiments, providing additional data for docking, which reveals a binding mode for JDBD onto J-DNA. This model, together with the crystallographic structure of the TET2 JBP1-homologue in complex with DNA and the AlphaFold model of full-length JBP1, allowed us to hypothesize that the flexible JBP1 N-terminus contributes to DNA-binding, which we confirmed experimentally. Α high-resolution JBP1:J-DNA complex, which must involve conformational changes, would however need to be determined experimentally to further understand this unique underlying molecular mechanism that ensures replication of epigenetic information.