Tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) from human melanoma cells (Bowes) was purified by immunosorbent chromatography on affinospecific polyclonal antibodies and gel filtration in the presence of KSCN. The immunosorbent eluate contained three major components of greater than 200, 85 and 65 kDa, respectively. The 65 kDa t-PA component could be separated by gel filtration on Ultrogel AcA44 in the presence of KSCN to a pure preparation yielding a unique N-terminal amino acid sequence. Immunoblot analysis, using affinospecific antibodies against t-PA, was a specific and sensitive method to identify different types of t-PA (I-IV), as well as t-PA-inhibitor complexes and degradation products in unstimulated melanoma cell culture fluids. Furthermore, the t-PA preparations, produced by phorbol ester-treated melanoma cells, were free of type IV and thus differed physiochemically from the constitutively produced t-PA preparations. The composition of t-PA from mammalian cell cultures is thus more complex than hitherto described.