The myristoylated form of c-Abl protein, as well as the P210bcr/abl protein, have been shown by indirect immunofluorescence to associate with F-actin stress fibers in fibroblasts. Analysis of deletion mutants of c-Abl stably expressed in fibroblasts maps the domain responsible for this interaction to the extreme COOH-terminus of Abl. This domain mediates the association of a heterologous protein with F-actin filaments after microinjection into NIH 3T3 cells, and directly binds to F-actin in a cosedimentation assay. Microinjection and cosedimentation assays localize the actin-binding domain to a 58 amino acid region, including a charged motif at the extreme COOH-terminus that is important for efficient binding. F-actin binding by Abl is calcium independent, and Abl competes with gelsolin for binding to F- actin. In addition to the F-actin binding domain, the COOH-terminus of Abl contains a proline-rich region that mediates binding and sequestration of G-actin, and the Abl F- and G-actin binding domains cooperate to bundle F-actin filaments in vitro. The COOH terminus of Abl thus confers several novel localizing functions upon the protein, including actin binding, nuclear localization, and DNA binding. Abl may modify and receive signals from the F-actin cytoskeleton in vivo, and is an ideal candidate to mediate signal transduction from the cell surface and cytoskeleton to the nucleus.