The p53 tumor suppressor that plays a central role in the cellular response to genotoxic stress was suggested to be associated with the DNA repair machinery which mostly involves nucleotide excision repair (NER). In the present study we show for the first time that p53 is also directly involved in base excision repair (BER). These experiments were performed with p53 temperature-sensitive (ts) mutants that were previously studied in in vivo experimental models. We report here that p53 ts mutants can also acquire wild-type activity under in vitro conditions. Using ts mutants of murine and human origin, it was observed that cell extracts overexpressing p53 exhibited an augmented BER activity measured in an in vitro assay. Depletion of p53 from the nuclear extracts abolished this enhanced activity. Together, this suggests that p53 is involved in more than one DNA repair pathway.