BRAF V600E is the most common mutation in cutaneous melanomas, and has been described in 30-72% of such cases. This mutation results in the substitution of valine for glutamic acid at position 600 of the BRAF protein, which consequently becomes constitutively activated. The present study investigated the BRAF V600E mutation frequency and its clinical implications in a group of 77 primary cutaneous melanoma patients treated in a cancer reference center in Brazil. Mutation analysis was accomplished by polymerase chain reaction, restriction fragment length polymorphism, and automated DNA sequencing. The chi-squared and Fischer exact tests were used for comparative analyses. The BRAF V600E mutation was detected in 54/77 (70.1%) melanoma subjects. However, no statistically significant association was found between the presence of the mutation and clinical or prognostic parameters. Our results demonstrated that the BRAF V600E mutation is a common event in melanomas, representing an important molecular target for novel therapeutic approaches in such tumors.