While the role of myosin II in muscle contraction has been well characterized, less is known about the role of myosin II in non-muscle cells. Recent molecular genetic experiments on Dictyostelium discoideum show that myosin II is necessary for cytokinesis and multicellular development. Here we use immunofluorescence microscopy with monoclonal and polyclonal antimyosin antibodies to visualize myosin II in cells of the multicellular D. discoideum slug. A subpopulation of peripheral and anterior cells label brightly with antimyosin II antibodies, and many of these cells display a polarized intracellular distribution of myosin II. Other cells in the slug label less brightly and their cytoplasm displays a more homogeneous distribution of myosin II. These results provide insight into cell motility within a three-dimensional tissue and they are discussed in relation to the possible roles of myosin II in multicellular development.

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