Plastins are members of a family of actin-binding proteins which exhibit a tissue-specific expression pattern. L-plastin, which is specifically expressed in hematopoietic cell lineage, has been proposed to be involved in the control of cell adhesion and motility. This protein is also frequently expressed in cell lines derived from mammary solid tumors and therefore might be involved in cancer invasion and metastasis. We have analysed plastin expression in normal and carcinomatous breast tissues in vivo by immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting approaches using specific plastin isoform antibodies. L-plastin was not detected in normal epithelial cells of the mammary gland whereas a staining of myoepithelial cells was observed in 50% of the cases. In breast carcinomas, a significant immunostaining of malignant epithelial cells was observed in 4 of the 29 cases analysed (13.8%). No correlation between L-plastin expression and tumor size, histological grade or lymph node status was observed. In contrast, L-plastin was found expressed in 4 of the 11 estrogen and progesterone receptors negative tumors (p = 0.039). The potential role of plastin expression in the tumor process is discussed.