A permanent ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) cell line has been established from the fibroblast strain AT2SF after transfection with the bacterial plasmid pSV ori-, which contains replication origin-defective SV40 sequences. The original transfection frequency, as measured by transformed foci, was markedly reduced in two A-T strains when compared with either normal or xeroderma pigmentosum fibroblasts. As with SV40 virion-transformed fibroblasts, pSV ori--transformed cells entered a crisis phase, from which about one-fourth of the original clones from A-T and normal fibroblasts recovered. Both the pSV ori--transformed TAT2SF cell line and an SV40 virion-transformed AT5BI (GM5489) cell line retained their characteristic sensitivity to the lethal effects of ionizing radiation, as well as their X ray-resistant DNA synthesis. Southern blot analysis of cellular SV40 sequences demonstrated a single major integration site of pSV ori- in the AT2SF cells. In contrast, AT5BI cells transformed with SV40 virions demonstrated a high degree of heterogeneity of integrated viral sequences. Neither the TAT2SF nor the GM5489 transformed cell line contains any detectable freely replicating SV40 viral sequences, which are seen in many other semipermissive SV40-transformed cells.