Earlier we isolated a 1:1 complex of 90 kD-protein and actin from bovine brain. This complex was able to fragment actin filaments. Effects of this complex on the cytoskeleton of mouse and quail embryo fibroblasts are described. The cells were extracted with Triton X-100, and the resulting cytoskeletons were treated with the complex. Tetramethylrhodaminylphalloin and actin antibody staining failed to detect actin in preparations treated with the 90 kD protein-actin complex. Electrophoretic data confirmed actin solubilization upon this treatment. Immunofluorescent microscopy showed that actin solubilization was accompanied by extraction of vinculin and alpha-actinin from focal contacts and stress-fibers. In contrast, myosin distribution in treated cytoskeletons did not differ significantly from that in control extracted cells: in both the cases myosin was found mainly in the stress-fibers. Thus, myosin localization in stress-fibers does not depend on actin and is probably controlled by some other cytoskeletal component(s).