Endogenous DNA adducts may contribute to the etiology of human genetic disease and cancer. One potential source of endogenous DNA adducts is lipid peroxidation, which generates mutagenic carbonyl compounds such as malondialdehyde. A sensitive mass spectrometric method permitted detection and quantitation of the major malondialdehyde-DNA adduct, a pyrimidopurinone derived from deoxyguanosine. DNA from disease-free human liver was found to contain 5400 adducts per cell, a frequency comparable to that of adducts formed by exogenous carcinogens. Reprinted with permission from Science 1994;265:1580–1581.