Epiligrin is a new glycoprotein in most epithelial basement membranes (BMs) and is a ligand for cell adhesion via integrin alpha 3 beta 1. In the extracellular matrix of human foreskin keratinocytes (HFKs), epiligrin contains three disulfide-bonded, glycoprotein subunits, E170, E145, and E135, based on molecular size in kilodaltons. Epiligrin, immunopurified with MAb P1E1, induced cell adhesion and localization of integrin alpha 3 beta 1 in focal adhesions (FAs). Cell adhesion to epiligrin was inhibited with an anti-alpha 3 beta 1 MAb. Epiligrin also colocalized with integrin alpha 6 beta 4 in hemidesmosome-like stable anchoring contacts (SACs). alpha 3 beta 1-FAs encircled alpha 6 beta 4-SACs in a complex adhesion structure. alpha 3 beta 1 and epiligrin localized in BM junctions of epithelial cells primarily in organs of endodermal/ectodermal origin. In epidermis, epiligrin was detected in the lamina lucida of BMs. alpha 3 beta 1 localized in plasma membranes of basal cells in contact with epiligrin and also in lateral/apical membranes. Epiligrin is the ligand of an adhesion super complex composed of alpha 3 beta 1-FAs and alpha 6 beta 4-SACs (hemidesmosomes).