The cell-surface receptor for hyaluronate is an integral membrane glycoprotein of Mr 85,000 (Underhill, C. B., A. L. Thurn, and B. E. Lacy, 1985, J. Biol. Chem., 260:8128-8133) that is thought to mediate many of the effects that hyaluronate has on cell behavior, such as migration, angiogenesis, and phagocytosis. To determine if the receptor is associated with the underlying cytoskeleton, Swiss 3T3 cells were extracted with a solution of Triton X-100, which solubilized most of the cellular components, but which left behind an insoluble residue containing the cytoskeleton. This detergent-insoluble residue was found to contain the bulk of the hyaluronate-binding activity, suggesting that the receptor might indeed be associated with the cytoskeleton. To further define the cytoskeletal element with which the receptor interacts, 3T3 cells were extracted with Triton X-100 under a variety of different ionic conditions. In each case, the amount of hyaluronate- binding activity in the detergent-insoluble residue was related to the amount of actin present, but not to either tubulin or vimentin. In addition, the recovery of hyaluronate-binding activity was dramatically enhanced (to 100% in most cases) if the cells were extracted in the presence of phalloidin, a drug that stabilizes actin filaments. However, the recovery of binding activity was dramatically decreased when whole cells were treated with cytochalasin B before extraction, and when extracted cells were treated with DNase I, which promotes the depolymerization of actin filaments. In addition, preincubating an extract of SV-40-transformed Swiss 3T3 cell membranes with DNase I caused a change in the elution profile of the receptor as judged by molecular-sieve chromatography. Presumably this decrease in the size of the receptor is due to the loss of associated actin filaments. The results of these experiments strongly suggest that the receptor for hyaluronate is associated either directly or indirectly with cytosolic actin filaments.