Naturally occurring tyrosine radicals from the M2 subunit of ribonucleotide reductase (RR) have been recorded by ESR in proliferating ordinary Ehrlich-ascites (EA) tumor cells of mice. Tyrosine radicals are stable in EA cells at room temperature for 2 h. Up to 500 mW no microwave saturation occurs. The relatively high stability and non-saturation of tyrosine radicals in EA cells suggests a suitable protein conformation in the M2 subunit enabling a close contact between the tyrosine radical and the antiferromagnetic iron complex. This facilitates an ESR study of functionally essential tyrosine radicals of RR in EA cells at low temperature and recommends this cellular system for studying such processes as inhibition and activation, which change the content of tyrosine radicals of the proliferation-linked RR. Oxygen treatment of non-proliferating (quiescent) EA cells reactivates tyrosine radicals 2-3 fold as found in strongly proliferating cells. We conclude that in quiescent cells, suffering from a lack of oxygen due to their high density in the peritoneal cavity, a reactivation of tyrosine radicals occurs by oxidation of non-radical tyrosine residues of inactive M2 subunits.