The cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4) is a key component in regulation of the mammalian cell cycle. The recent discovery of a common missense mutation (Arg24Cys) in both sporadic and familial forms of malignant melanoma strongly supports the candidacy of CDK4 as a proto-oncogene. To study further the role of CDK4 in melanoma pathogenesis, we have established a method based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in combination with denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) to scan the CDK4 gene for point mutations. By analyzing the entire coding sequence of the CDK4 gene in 56 sporadic metastatic malignant melanomas, we identified a novel missense mutation, Asn41Ser. This mutation was also found in the germline of the patient who had no family history of melanoma. Analysis of a tumor-derived cell line demonstrated equal expression of the mutant and wild-type CDK4 alleles, together with lack of functional p16. Our findings suggest that an oncogenic mechanism of the CDK4-Asn41Ser variant would be different from the CDK4-Arg24Cys variant. Altogether, our data demonstrate that point mutation of CDK4 is a rare event in melanoma pathogenesis.