Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase catalyses the formation of ADP-ribose polymers covalently attached to various nuclear proteins, using NAD+ as substrate. The activity of this enzyme is strongly stimulated upon binding to DNA single or double strand breaks. Poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation is an immediate cellular response to DNA damage and is thought to be involved in DNA repair, genetic recombination, apoptosis and other processes during which DNA strand breaks are formed. In recent years we and others have established cell culture systems with altered poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase activity. Here we describe immunocytochemistry protocols based on the use of antibodies against the DNA-binding domain of human poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase and against its reaction product poly(ADP-ribose). These protocols allow for the convenient mass screening of cell transfectants with overexpression of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase or of a dominant-negative mutant for this enzyme, i.e. the DNA-binding domain. In addition, the immunocytochemical detection of poly(ADP-ribose) allows screening for cells with altered enzyme activity.