Photoreactive DNA duplexes mimicking substrates of nucleotide excision repair (NER) system were used to analyze the interaction of XPC-HR23B, RPA, and XPA with damaged DNA. Photoreactive groups in one strand of DNA duplex (arylazido-dCMP or 4-thio-dUMP) were combined with anthracenyl-dCMP residue at the opposite strand to analyze contacts of NER factors with damaged and undamaged strands. Crosslinking of XPC-HR23B complex with photoreactive 48-mers results in modification of XPC subunit. XPC-HR23B did not crosslink with DNA duplex bearing bulky residues in both strands while this modification does not prevent interaction of DNA with XPA. The data on crosslinking of XPA and RPA with photoreactive DNA duplexes containing bulky group in one of the strands are in favor of XPA preference to interact with the damaged strand and RPA preference for the undamaged strand. The results support the understanding and set the stage for dynamically oriented experiments of how the pre-incision complex is formed in the early stage of NER.