DNA polymerase ..beta.. (..beta..-polymerase) is a housekeeping enzyme involved in DNA repair in vertebrate cells. The authors used a cDNA probe to study abundance of ..beta..-polymerase mRNA in cultured human cells. The mRNA level in synchronized HeLa cells, representing different stages of the cell-cycle, varied only slightly. Contact inhibited fibroblasts AG-1522 contained the same level of mRNA as growing cells. The steady-state level of mRNA in fibroblasts is equivalent to 6 molecules per cell. The results indicate that the ..beta..-polymerase transcript is low abundance and is neither cell-cycles nor growth phase responsive.