Chloroquine treatment of rodent cells during the first hours of polyoma DNA transfection increase the fraction of cells expressing viral functions. The effect has been observed after DNA absorption using both the DEAE-dextran and calcium phosphate coprecipitation methods. Exposure to chloroquine increased the proportion of transfected mouse cells to approximately 40%. From a culture of one million such cells, microgram quantities of newly synthesized viral DNA could be isolated. Similarly, the transformation frequency of rat cells following polyoma DNA transfection was approximately 6-fold increased by chloroquine treatment. The effect of the compound was even more pronounced in transfections with linear forms of polyoma DNA, suggesting that chloroquine inhibits degradation of DNA absorbed by the cells.