Incubation of DNA polymerase alpha, DNA polymerase beta, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase, or DNA ligase II in a reconstituted poly(ADP-ribosyl)ating enzyme system markedly suppressed the activity of these enzymes. Components required for poly(ADP-ribose) synthesis including poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase, NAD+, DNA, and Mg2+ were all essential for the observed suppression. Purified poly(ADP-ribose) itself, however, was slightly inhibitory to all of these enzymes. Furthermore, the suppressed activities of DNA polymerase alpha, DNA polymerase beta, and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase were largely restored (3 to 4-fold stimulation was observed) by a mild alkaline treatment, a procedure known to hydrolyze alkaline-labile ester linkage between poly(ADP-ribose) and an acceptor protein. All of these results strongly suggest that the four nuclear enzymes were inhibited as a result of poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation of either the enzyme molecule itself or some regulatory proteins of these enzymes.