The dynamics of microfilament bundles (stress fibers) in tissue culture cells were studied by microinjecting an affinity-purified polyclonal antibody against chicken gizzard myosin. This antibody cross-reacted exclusively with the light chains of nonmuscle myosin and should therefore bind to the head portion of myosin molecules. When injected in high concentrations (13-26 mg/ml), it disrupted stress fibers in a high proportion (60-80%) of rat and chicken embryo fibroblasts, as well as in PtK2 cells. Myosin was found collected in large aggregates probably comprising protein: antibody precipitates, while actin and alpha-actinin were not localized in any defined structures in stress fiber depleted cells. Fibroblasts rounded up, probably because of lack of tension-generating microfilament bundles. After several hours, stress fibers were seen to regrow again in the afflicted cells, even when myosin precipitates and excess antibody were still present. The extent of stress fiber disruption and the time point of their reappearance were dependent on the concentration of the injected antibody.