The yeast 2 μm DNA plasmid nucleoprotein complex was subjected to restriction endonuclease digestion to ascertain whether all possible sites are equally accessible to hydrolysis. When plasmid nucleoprotein complexes which had been fixed with formaldehyde were exhaustively digested with restriction endonucleases HinfI or CfoI, only a few of the limit digest products were produced. Furthermore, the limited set of restriction endonuclease sites exposed in formaldehyde-treated plasmid chromosomes could be shown to be preferentially hydrolyzed when plasmid chromosomes which had not been treated with formaldehyde were digested with the same restriction endonucleases. Mapping of the preferred sites revealed that they mapped to the region of the plasmid near the replication origin. These results demonstrate that the protection of DNA from nuclease activity is not constant along the plasmid chromatin, and that a region near the replication origin is preferentially exposed to endonuclease hydrolysis.