Cell adhesion is crucial in the process of tumour progression. As integrins are important receptor molecules involved in cell adhesion, we studied the distribution of the alpha 1-6, alpha v, alpha IIb, beta 1, beta 3, and beta 4 integrin subunits in tissue sections of common naevocellular naevi (n = 22), dysplastic naevi (16), thin (24) and thick primary cutaneous melanomas (28), and melanoma metastases (25). We found correlated expression of alpha 1/alpha 2, of alpha 4/alpha 5/beta 3, and of alpha 6/beta 4. Decrease of alpha 6 and beta 4, and increase of alpha 4 and alpha v were found to be correlated with melanoma progression. Furthermore, expression of alpha 5 and beta 3 was detected only in primary melanoma and melanoma metastasis. Our findings indicate that during melanoma progression alterations in integrin expression occur, the most striking being emergence of alpha 5 beta 1 fibronectin and alpha v beta 3 vitonectin receptor.