Mouse L cells are rendered permeable to nucleoside triphosphates by a cold shock with a near isotonic buffer. These cells retain their morphologic integrity and use exogenously supplied nucleotides and deoxynucleotides to synthesize RNA and DNA. The newly synthesized DNA is nuclear and is the product of semiconservative replication. Incorporation of deoxynucleotides into DNA by thymidine kinase-deficient cells were used to conform rigorously that the exogenously supplied deoxynucleotides were incorporated into DNA without intermediate processing through nucleosides. DNA synthesis requires the presence of Na+, ATP, all 4 deoxynucleotides, and Mg2+. The reaction is inhibited by N-ethylmaleimide, p-hydroxymercuribenzoate and actinomycin D. Hydroxy-urea and arabinosylcytosine do not inhibit the reaction whereas cytosine arabinoside triphosphate shows competitive inhibition with the deoxynucleotides. These findings indicate that the permeable cell system can be used for in situ evaluations of the replicative DNA polymerase using the endogenous DNA template.