Binding of tritiated 2,2,6,6-tetramethyl-4-piperidone-N-oxyl (/sup 3/H-TAN) to radiation-induced DNA-transients in E. coli K-12 strains AB 1157 and JO 307 rec A uvr A has been studied under in vivo conditions. After irradiation the cells were washed and resuspended in growth medium and left overnight at 37 deg C. Within an uncertainty of about 10 %, no effect of repair could be detected on the yield of TAN bound to DNA for any of the strains. During the period after resuspension TAN or fragments of TAN leaked out of the irradiated cell samples. This leakage may be attributed to semi-permanent association between TAN and radiation-induced radicals within the cell. The relevance of different interactions between TAN and transients in DNA is discussed.