Heat-resistant variants have been selected from B16 melanoma cells and from surface mutants previously derived from them. The aim of the present study was to explore the possible role of heat shock proteins in the manifestation of this heat resistance. The major heat shock proteins evident after heating have subunit molecular weights of 68, 70, 89, and 110K on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels. The 68-kDa protein is not evident in any of the unheated B16 cell lines while the levels of the other heat shock proteins are elevated after heating. The constitutive levels of the 70, 89, and 110-kDa heat shock proteins were assessed after gel electrophoretic separation of proteins in several of the heat-resistant variants. No major differences were found in the levels of these proteins between the heat-sensitive parent lines and the heat-resistant variants. We therefore conclude that heat shock proteins are not a determining factor in the heat-resistant phenotype of B16 melanoma cells.