The repair of 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine in the DNA of mammalian cells is initiated by 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase (OGG1). A frequent polymorphism in the humanOGG1gene, rs1052133, causes the substitution of serine by cysteine at amino acid 326 of the protein and has been associated with an altered risk for various types of cancer in some populations. The OGG1-Cys326 protein appears to have normal enzymatic activity, but greater sensitivity to oxidation than the serine variant. Here, we describe a comparison of the cellular repair by the two OGG1 variants under stress conditions characteristic of inflammation, namely in cells pretreated with nitric oxide (NO) or pre-exposed to hyperthermia. The results show that NO at concentrations causing negligible DNA damage and little cytotoxicity strongly reduces the repair rates of oxidized purines in the DNA of HeLa cells overexpressing the OGG1-Cys326 variant. The reduction in repair was much less pronounced in isogenic cells overexpressing the OGG1-Ser326 variant. Similar results were observed in EBV-transformed lymphocytes from donors homozygous for the two OGG1 variant alleles. In contrast, hyperthermia-induced stress caused a repair retardation that was independent of the OGG1 polymorphism. The repair inhibition by NO in the variant cells gave rise to increased genetic instability, measured as increased micronuclei formation after oxidant exposure. The results could explain a higher risk of malignant transformation in inflamed tissues of carriers of this variant allele.