Phenolic phytochemicals such as tannins, which are natural constituents of green tea, red wine, and other plant products, are considered to have cancer-preventive properties. An important endogenous mediator of tumorigenesis is the nuclear enzyme poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP-1). PARP-1 synthesizes polymers of ADP-ribose (PAR), which, in turn, are degraded by the catabolic enzyme poly(ADP-ribose) glycohydrolase (PARG). In the present study, we investigated the effects of tannins on the level of PAR in HeLa nuclear extracts. The addition of tannins to nuclear extracts led to a 40-fold elevation of PAR-levels. The observed increased PAR-levels resulted from inhibition of the catalytic activity of PARG. Additionally, the human PARG cDNA was cloned and the recombinant enzyme was overexpressed and isolated. Recombinant PARG was immobilized using an affinity column composed of tannins covalently linked to Sepharose beads. Finally, an interaction between immobilized PARG and endogenous PARP-1 from HeLa cell extracts is demonstrated.