Flavone acetic acid (FAA) is a new antitumor agent with broad activity against transplantable solid tumors of mice but with only scant or no activity against leukemias and lymphomas. The technique of alkaline elution was used to study DNA lesions in s.c. implanted Glasgow osteogenic sarcoma in C57BL/6 x DBA/2 F1 mice treated i.v. with FAA. At efficacious dosages (235 and 200 mg/kg), FAA produced extensive single strand breakage. Formation of single strand breaks was dependent on time of assay after exposure to FAA with only minimal damage occurring prior to 5 h posttreatment. Apparently Glasgow osteogenic sarcoma had no capacity to repair single strand breaks for at least 45 h after drug administration. Thus, FAA differs in its mechanism from other scission agents (e.g., VP-16). Neither interstrand cross-links nor DNA-protein cross-links were detected. DNA single strand breaks did not occur in the bone marrow cells or in the unresponsive P388 leukemia cells at dosages causing extensive DNA damage in solid tumor cells.