The repair of DNA damage produced by 137Cs gamma irradiation was measured with a preparation from Micrococcus luteus containing DNA damage-specific endonucleases in combination with alkaline elution. The frequency of these endonuclease sensitive sites (ESS) was determined after 54 or 110 Gy of oxic irradiation in normal and xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) fibroblasts from complementation groups A, C, D, and G. Repair was rapid in all cell strains with greater than 50% repair after 1.5 h of repair incubation. At later repair times, 12-17 h, more ESS remained in XP than in normal cells. The frequency of excess ESS in XP cells was approximately 0.04 per 10(9) Da of DNA per Gy which was equivalent to 10% of the initial ESS produced. The removal of ESS was comparable in XP cells with normal radiosensitivity and XP3BR cells which have been reported to be moderately radiosensitive.