The contractile properties of muscle cells are related to the molecular structure of myosin. The molecular structure and the antigenicity of myosin isoforms is different in skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscle. We investigated whether different isoforms of myosin heavy chains are present in smooth muscle from human lungs. We observed that the distribution of three isoforms of smooth muscle myosin heavy chains is different in airways compared to pulmonary arteries, and in central airways and arteries compared to lung parenchyma. We also observed that asthmatic subjects have a similar distribution, but different immunoreactivity of myosin heavy chains in bronchial smooth muscle compared to normal subjects. These data suggest that changes in the contractile properties of smooth muscle in human lungs may be associated with changes in myosin heavy chain isoforms.