The expression of the Ku70 and Ku80 genes as well as the activity of the DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) were studied in 11 normal human fibroblast lines. The proteins studied are known to be part of a double-strand break (dsb) repair complex involved in non-homologous recombination, as was demonstrated for the radiosensitive rodent mutant cell lines of the complementation groups 5-7. The 11 fibroblast lines used in this study represent a typical spectrum of normal human radiosensitivity with the surviving fraction measured for a dose of 3.5 Gy, SF3.5 GY, ranging from 0.03 to 0.28. These differences in cell survival were previously shown to correlate with the number of non-repaired dsbs. We found that the mRNA signal intensities of both Ku70 and Ku80 genes were fairly similar for the 11 cell lines investigated. In addition, the DNA-PK activity determined by the pulldown assay was fairly constant in these fibroblast lines. Despite the correlation between cell survival and dsb repair capacity, there was no correlation between dsb repair capacity and DNA-PK activity in the tested normal human fibroblast lines. Obviously, in this respect, other proteins/pathways appear to be more relevant.