The role of divergent primary sequences in restricting tubulin function was tested in vivo by a gene transfection experiment. A chicken-yeast chimeric beta-tubulin DNA was introduced into 3T3 cells using the transfection vector pSV2. The 5' end of this gene, from chicken, is similar but not identical with that of mouse beta-tubulins; the 3' end, from yeast, contains a carboxyl terminus that is very different from other known beta-tubulin sequences. The chimeric protein is incorporated efficiently into each of the microtubule structures and each of the microtubules in the host cells. The presence of the protein has no apparent effect on either growth rate or cell morphology. The results suggest that the divergent sequences in this chimeric tubulin molecule place no restrictions on its activities in mouse cells.