We have investigated the effects of soybean agglutinin on the cytoskeletal element actin in differentiated Caco-2 cells. The actin cytoskeleton of the cells was visualized by fluorescence microscopy using 7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1, 3-diazole phallacidin as a specific marker for F-actin. Compared with control Caco-2 cells no changes in the fluorescence pattern were observed after incubation with soybean agglutinin. However, using the deoxyribonuclease-I inhibition assay a dose-related response was noted in the increase of intracellular G-actin after a 2-hour incubation period with soybean agglutinin. Already after exposure for 15 min to soybean agglutinin a decrease in intracellular F-actin was demonstrable. This apparent depolymerization could be prevented by incubating the Caco-2 cells with soybean agglutinin and the appropriate monosaccharide simultaneously. The increase in the amount of G-actin appeared to be correlated with a shortening of microvilli on the Caco-2 cells.