We investigated a wild-type (wt) p53 rhabdomyosarcoma (A-204) and a mutated (mt p53) undifferentiated sarcoma cell line (US8-93) for their response to X-ray. The observation period was 0 to 96 h after irradiation. Both cell lines showed a strikingly delayed G2/M arrest and an induction of apoptosis after irradiation. Compared with the cell line A-204 (wt p53), the cell line US8-93 (mt p53) revealed a stronger G2/M arrest. In agreement with this, in terms of viability as well as the rate of apoptosis, A-204 (wt p53) showed a stronger response to irradiation than US8-93 (mt p53). We suggest that the different p53 gene status might be the cause for a different response to irradiation.