Abstract The aminophosphonic acid analogue of DOPA, DL-1-amino-2-(3,4-dihydroxy-phenyl) ethylphosphonic acid (ADEP) has been synthesised. The compound was of low toxicity; a single dose of 2 g/kg given to mice subcutaneously was not lethal. [ 3H]ADEP was injected subcutaneously into mice carrying the established Harding-Passey melanoma, and the distribution of the tritium determined. The highest initial concentration of radioactivity was in the kidneys, adrenal glands and eyes. Isotope content fell to low values in all tissues within 8 days or less but the tumour retained radioactivity for a longer period than did the other tissues examined. ADEP served as a substrate for mushroom tyrosinase.