We have established and characterized an immortalized xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), group C, cell line. Transformation of the human fibroblasts was carried out with a recombinant plasmid, pLAS-wt, containing SV40 DNA encompassing the entire early region with a defective origin of DNA replication. The transformed XP cell line, XP4PA-SVwt, and the normal transformed fibroblasts AS3-SVwt, both express SV40 T antigen together with enhanced levels of the transformation-associated cellular protein, p53. XP4PA-SVwt retains the XP UV-repair defective phenotype as demonstrated by low levels of unscheduled DNA synthesis and by the reduced survival of irradiated SV40 virus. Analysis of cellular DNA shows a single major, stable, integration site of pLAS-wt in the XP4PA-SVwt cells. The T antigen in these cells supports efficiently the replication of SV40 based shuttle vectors and should prove suitable for the introduction, expression and selection of genes related to DNA repair and to the study of mutagenesis using defined molecular probes.