[3H]dGMP-3'-labelled, activated salmon testis DNA and [32P]dGMP-5'-labelled open circular M13 DNA were reacted with cis-diamminedichloroplatinum(II), cis-diamminechloroaquaplatinum(II), cis-diamminediaquaplatinum(II) or trans-diamminechloroaquaplatinum(II). The reaction was arrested after arbitrary times by adjustment to slightly alkaline solution conditions. The platinum-containing DNA was digested with Escherichia coli DNA polymerase I. The progress of nucleotide release was measured by acid precipitation of undigested DNA. Solubilized nucleotides and adducts were analyzed by HPLC. The 3'-5'-exonuclease activity liberated single-coordinated dGMP-platinum(II) adducts from both cis- and trans-platinum(II) treated salmon testis DNA and a small fraction of adducts of cis-platinum(II) that coordinated two molecules of dGMP. The bisadduct was derived from non-neighboring guanine residues probably located at or close to 3'-termini. This nuclease activity neither cut between nor after neighboring guanine residues crosslinked by cis-platinum(II). No bisadduct was liberated for trans-platinum(II). The 5'-3'-exonuclease activity did not liberate any nucleotide adducts from cis-platinum(II)-treated DNa. However, it removed single-coordinated guanine adducts of trans-diamminedichloroplatinum(II). From the kinetics of the appearance of dGMP monoadducts and the inhibition of digestion, a reaction scheme is formulated for the reaction of platinum(II) complexes with DNA that confirms and extends the previously published one [W. Schaller, H. Reisner & E. Holler (1987) Biochemistry 26, 943-950]. The longevity of the dGMP monoadduct intermediate is discussed in the context of the efficiency of cis-diamminedichloroplatinum(II) as an antitumor drug.