Inflammation is an important risk factor for cancer. During inflammation, macrophages secrete nitric oxide (NO*), which reacts with superoxide or oxygen to create ONOO- or N2O3, respectively. Although homologous recombination causes DNA sequence rearrangements that promote cancer, little was known about the ability of ONOO- and N2O3 to induce recombination in mammalian cells. Here, we show that ONOO- is a potent inducer of homologous recombination at an integrated direct repeat substrate, whereas N2O3 is relatively weakly recombinogenic. Furthermore, on a per lesion basis, ONOO(-)-induced oxidative base lesions and single-strand breaks are significantly more recombinogenic than N2O3-induced base deamination products, which did not induce detectable recombination between plasmids. Similar results were observed in mammalian cells from two different species. These results suggest that ONOO(-)-induced recombination may be an important mechanism underlying inflammation-induced cancer.