UV-induced cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPD) are selectively removed from the transcribed strand of transcriptionally active genes in V79 Chinese hamster cells. This strand specificity of repair corresponds well with the observation that UV-induced mutations in the HPRT gene are primarily generated by DNA photolesions in the non-transcribed strand. This strand bias for mutations is, however, much more pronounced at 2 J/m2 than at the higher dose of 12 J/m2. An alternative explanation for strand specificity of mutations would be that most of the mutations are caused by pyrimidone 6-4 pyrimidine photoproducts (6-4 PP). Indeed experiments with a V79-derived cell line capable of repairing 6-4 PP but not CPD have revealed direct evidence for 6-4 PP as the mutagenic lesions in UV-irradiated hamster cells. This implies that 6-4 PP are also preferentially repaired in the transcribed strand. We have investigated the repair of DNA photolesions in the HPRT gene by measuring the distribution of bromodeoxyuridine-labeled repair patches in the transcribed and non-transcribed strands of genes employing a newly developed immunoextraction procedure. Three cell lines with different capacities to remove CPD and 6-4 PP from the HPRT gene and from the genome overall were used. We found no evidence for preferential repair of 6-4 PP in the transcribed strand of the HPRT gene in cells exposed to 10 J/m2. These data are in favor of a lack of strand-specific repair of 6-4 PP underlying the much less pronounced strand bias for induced mutations at high UV dose. However, the conclusive test would be the demonstration of preferential repair of 6-4 PP in the transcribed strand of transcriptionally active genes in cells exposed to 2 J/m2.