alpha and beta DNA polymerases (DNA nucleotidyltransferase; deoxynucleosidetriphosphate:DNA deoxynucleotidyltransferase, EC 22.214.171.124) were isolated from nuclear and cytoplasmic fractions of rat livers exposed to a carcinogenic regimen with the hepatocarcinogen N-2-fluorenylacetamide and from 24-hr regenerating liver. The fidelity of polymerization of these enzymes was compared by determining the incorporation of noncomplementary deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates (misincorporation) on a poly(dA-dT).poly(dA-dT) template, with MnCl2 and MgCl2 as divalent cations. Our initial studies indicate that the cytoplasmic alpha polymerases from carcinogen-exposed rat livers were strikingly error-prone whereas the nuclear and cytoplasmic beta polymerases retained their fidelity throughout the feeding cycles. The misincorporation was significantly accentuated by MnCl2 compared with that obtained with MgCl2 as divalent cation. The products were sensitive to pancreatic DNase I digestion, indicating that the noncomplementary bases had been incorporated by the polymerization process. Nuclear alpha polymerase showed some degree of infidelity but less than that of cytoplasmic alpha polymerase.