Extracellular divalent cations are important regulators of integrin ligand binding activity. In this study we evaluated how divalent cations affect the organization of integrins into focal adhesion sites. Integrins alpha v beta 3 and alpha v beta 5 were compared because they share a high degree of structural homology and because both integrins mediate cell adhesion to vitronectin. On MG-63 osteosarcoma cells, we found that both the extent and pattern of integrin organization was regulated by the type of extracellular divalent ion. Integrin alpha v beta 3 organized in focal contacts when Mn2+ or Mg2+ was present, but not in Ca2+. In contrast, alpha v beta 5 organized in focal contacts only when Ca2+ or Mg2+ was present. Integrin alpha v beta 5 clustered in a centrally located punctate field on the ventral surface of the cell in the presence of Mn2+. These observations reveal a previously unappreciated role for divalent ions in regulating the organization of integrins into focal adhesion sites.