We report here the cloning and sequencing of a cytoplasmic dynein heavy chain gene from the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum. Using a combination of approaches, we have isolated 14,318 bp of DNA sequence which contains an open-reading frame of 4,725 amino acids. The deduced molecular weight of the polypeptide predicted by this reading frame is 538,482 D. Overall, the polypeptide sequence is 51% similar and 28% identical to the recently published sequences of the beta-dynein heavy chain from sea urchin flagella (Gibbons, I. R., B. H. Gibbons, G. Mocz, and D. J. Asai. 1991. Nature (Lond.). 352: 640-643; Ogawa, K. 1991. Nature (Lond.). 352:643-645). It contains four GXXXXGKT/S motifs that form part of a consensus sequence for ATP-binding domains; these motifs are clustered near the middle of the polypeptide. The distribution of the regions sharing sequence similarity between the Dictyostelium and sea urchin heavy chain polypeptides suggests that the amino termini of dyneins may contain domains that specify axonemal or cytoplasmic functions.

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