The light intermediate chains (LICs) of cytoplasmic dynein consist of multiple isoforms, which undergo post-translational modification to produce a large number of species separable by two-dimensional electrophoresis and which we have proposed to represent at least two gene products. Recently, we demonstrated the first known function for the LICs: binding to the centrosomal protein, pericentrin, which represents a novel, non-dynactin-based cargo-binding mechanism. Here we report the cloning of rat LIC1, which is approximately 75% homologous to rat LIC2 and also contains a P-loop consensus sequence. We compared LIC1 and LIC2 for the ability to interact with pericentrin, and found that only LIC1 will bind. A functional P-loop sequence is not required for this interaction. We have mapped the interaction to the central region of both LIC1 and pericentrin. Using recombinant LICs, we found that they form homooligomers, but not heterooligomers, and exhibit mutually exclusive binding to the heavy chain. Additionally, overexpressed pericentrin is seen to interact with endogenous LIC1 exclusively. Together these results demonstrate the existence of two subclasses of cytoplasmic dynein: LIC1-containing dynein, and LIC2-containing dynein, only the former of which is involved in pericentrin association with dynein.