Mouse entactin derived from the extracellular matrix of M1536-B3 cells and from insect cells infected with a recombinant virus containing entactin sequences were shown to promote the attachment of mouse mammary tumor, human melanoma, and other cells. The cell attachment was inhibited by antibodies against mouse entactin but not by anti-fibronectin or anti-laminin antibodies. On a weight basis entactin was as effective as laminin in promoting the attachment of mouse mammary tumor cells. The attachment of cells to entactin was in part mediated by the integrin recognition RGD peptide sequence. This was demonstrated by the cell attachment properties of peptides derived from entactin which contained this sequence. Furthermore, the peptide RGDS could inhibit the attachment of mouse mammary tumor cells to entactin to approximately 60% of control. It is suggested that additional cell recognition sequences may be present in entactin. The direct binding of calcium ions to entactin was observed. It is probable that the binding sites reside in peptide sequences located toward the NH2 terminus region of entactin. This conclusion was supported by the demonstration that synthetic peptides, containing potential calcium binding sequences derived from entactin, bound calcium. In addition, a recombinant peptide containing the amino-terminal 330 amino acids of entactin also bound calcium ions. The significance of these properties of entactin is discussed.