Purpose: To investigate the radiosensitivity of the normal human oral keratinocytes (NHOK), and the effect of irradiation on cell cycle and protein expression. Materials and Methods: To evaluate the radiosensitivity of NHOK, the number of colonies and cells were counted after irradiation and the SF2 (survival fraction at 2Gy) value, and the cell survival curve fitted on a linear-quadratic model were obtained. LDH analysis was carried out to evaluate the necrosis of NHOK at 1, 2, 3, and 4 days after 2, 10, and 20 Gy irradiation. Cell cycle arrest and the induction of apoptosis were analyzed using flow cytometry at 1, 2, 3, and 4 days after 2, 10, and 200y irradiation. Finally, proteins related cell cycle arrest and apoptosis were analysed by Western blot. Results: The number of survived cell was significantly decreased in a dose-dependent manner. The cell survival curve showed SF2, α, and β values to be 0.568, 0.209, and 0.020 respectively. At 200y irradiated cells showed higher optical density than the control group. After irradiation, apoptosis was not observed but G2 arrest was observed in the NHOK cells. 1 day after 10 Gy irradiation, the expression of p53 remained unchanged, the p2l/sup WAF1/Cipl/ increased and the mdm2 decreased. The expression of bax, bcl-2, cyclin B1, and cyclin D remained unchanged. Conclusion: These results indicate that NHOK responds to irradiation by G2 arrest, which is possibly mediated by the expression of p21/sup WAFl/Cipl/, and that cell necrosis occurs by high dose irradiation.