The effect of specific DNA binding of the cAMP . cAMP receptor protein complex to two DNA fragments (301 and 2685 base-pairs in length) containing the lac operon has been investigated by electron microscopy. It is shown that specific DNA binding of the cAMP . cAMP receptor protein complex induces a kink of 30 to 45 degrees in the DNA with the apex of the kink located at the site of protein attachment. These findings lend direct visual support for the kinking hypothesis based on the observation of anomalous electrophoretic mobility of DNA fragments containing specifically bound cAMP receptor protein.