The localization of the Golgi complex depends upon the integrity of the microtubule apparatus. At interphase, the Golgi has a restricted pericentriolar localization. During mitosis, it fragments into small vesicles that are dispersed throughout the cytoplasm until telophase, when they again coalesce near the centrosome. These observations have suggested that the Golgi complex utilizes a dynein-like motor to mediate its transport from the cell periphery towards the minus ends of microtubules, located at the centrosome. We utilized semi-intact cells to study the interaction of the Golgi complex with the microtubule apparatus. We show here that Golgi complexes can enter semi-intact cells and associate stably with cytoplasmic constituents. Stable association, termed here "Golgi capture," requires ATP hydrolysis and intact microtubules, and occurs maximally at physiological temperature in the presence of added cytosolic proteins. Once translocated into the semi-intact cell cytoplasm, exogenous Golgi complexes display a distribution similar to endogenous Golgi complexes, near the microtubule-organizing center. The process of Golgi capture requires cytoplasmic tubulin, and is abolished if cytoplasmic dynein is immunodepleted from the cytosol. Cytoplasmic dynein, prepared from CHO cell cytosol, restores Golgi capture activity to reactions carried out with dynein immuno-depleted cytosol. These results indicate that cytoplasmic dynein can interact with isolated Golgi complexes, and participate in their accumulation near the centrosomes of semi-intact, recipient cells. Thus, cytoplasmic dynein appears to play a role in determining the subcellular localization of the Golgi complex.