Photoreactivating enzyme (PRE) from yeast causes a light-dependent reduction of UV-induced unscheduled DNA synthesis (UDS) when injected into the cytoplasm of repair-proficient human fibroblasts (Zwetsloot et al., 1985). This result indicates that the exogenous PRE monomerizes UV-induced dimers in these cells competing with the endogenous excision repair. In this paper we present the results of the injection of yeast PRE on (residual) UDS in fibroblasts from different excision-deficient XP-strains representing complementation groups A, C, D, E, F, H and I (all displaying more than 10% of the UDS of wild-type cells) and in fibroblasts from two excision-proficient XP-variant strains. In fibroblasts belonging to complementation groups C, F and I and in fibroblasts from the XP-variant strains UDS was significantly reduced, indicating that pyrimidine dimers in these cells are accessible to and can be monomerized by the injected yeast PRE. The UDS reduction in the XP-variant strains is comparable with the effect in wild-type cells. In cells from complementation groups C, F and I the reduction is less than in wild-type and XP-variant cells. Fibroblasts belonging to groups A, D, E and H did not show any reduction in UDS level after PRE injection and illumination with photoreactivating light. These results give evidence that the genetic repair defect in some XP-strains is probably due to an altered accessibility of the UV-damaged sites.