The expression of calcium-binding protein S100A9 was investigated in 23 matched sets of colorectal carcinoma and normal colon mucosa using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. We found that, from a group of 23 patients, the level of S100A9 protein, in comparison with matched normal colon mucosa, was significantly increased in malignant tissues of 16 patients (70%). Furthermore, an additional protein, identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization - mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) as S100A8, exhibited an increased expression in the same specimens of malignant tissues as the S100A9 protein. The immunohistological analysis revealed the accumulation of S100A9 positive cells, macrophages and polymorphonuclear leukocytes along the invasive margin of colorectal carcinoma. The S100A8 protein was found to be produced in the same location. The possible participation of both proteins and, especially, its heterodimeric complex calprotectin in colorectal carcinoma regression could be taken into account.