We have examined the effect that microinjection of a monoclonal antibody directed against human DNA polymerase-alpha (SJK-287) has on DNA synthesis in exponentially growing human, mouse, and hamster cell lines. We show that the SJK-287 antibody, when microinjected directly into the nuclei of cells is capable of inhibiting DNA synthesis in all three cell lines tested. Moreover, the effectiveness with which this antibody can inhibit ongoing DNA synthesis by the microinjection assay is closely correlated with the ability of the antibody to neutralize DNA polymerase-alpha activity fractionated from each cell line in vitro. Two other monoclonal antibodies of the same class, one directed against the cellular p53 protein (PAb122), and one directed against the c-myc protein (PM-8) were also tested for their ability to inhibit ongoing DNA synthesis by direct microinjection and in lysolecithin permeabilized cells. Both monoclonal antibodies failed to inhibit ongoing DNA synthesis in exponentially growing cells by these assays.