We describe two dynein heavy chain (DHC)-like polypeptides (DHCs 2 and 3) that are distinct from the heavy chain of conventional cytoplasmic dynein (DHC1) but are expressed in a variety of mammalian cells that lack axonemes. DHC2 is a distant member of the "cytoplasmic" branch of the dynein phylogenetic tree, while DHC3 shares more sequence similarity with dynein-like polypeptides that have been thought to be axonemal. Each cytoplasmic dynein is associated with distinct cellular organelles. DHC2 is localized predominantly to the Golgi apparatus. Moreover, the Golgi disperses upon microinjection of antibodies to DHC2, suggesting that this motor is involved in establishing proper Golgi organization. DCH3 is associated with as yet unidentified structures that may represent transport intermediates between two or more cytoplasmic compartments. Apparently, specific cytoplasmic dyneins, like individual members of the kinesin superfamily, play unique roles in the traffic of cytomembranes.

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