Mutations in LKB1/STK11, a gene mapping to chromosome 19p13.3 and encoding a widely expressed serine/threonine kinase, were recently identified as the cause of Peutz-Jeghers syndrome. Despite the hamartomatous polyps and increased cancer risk associated with this syndrome, somatic alterations in LKB1/STK11 have not been identified in human tumours. Prompted by another feature of the syndrome, lentigines of the lips and oral mucosa, we evaluated the status of LKB1/STK11 expression, deletion, and mutation in cell lines and tumour samples from 35 patients with sporadic malignant melanoma. Two somatic mutations were identified, a nonsense mutation (Glu170Stop) causing exon skipping and intron retention, and a missense mutation (Asp194Tyr) affecting an invariant residue in the catalytic subunit of LKB1/STK11. Our data suggest that LKB1/STK11 may contribute to tumorigenesis in a small fraction of malignant melanomas.