To identify kinesin-related proteins that may be important for mitotic function in embryonic and tissue culture cells we have generated polyclonal antibodies to two synthetic peptides corresponding to conserved regions of the kinesin motor domain. In Xenopus eggs we have identified a family of microtubule-binding proteins, recognized by one or both affinity-purified peptide antibodies but not by monoclonal antibodies that recognize conventional kinesin heavy chain. Like kinesin, most of these proteins bind to microtubules only upon addition of AMP-PNP or nucleotide depletion and are released upon subsequent addition of ATP. At least one protein, however, exhibits markedly distinct properties, binding readily to microtubules in the absence of AMP-PNP and/or nucleotide depletion. We also report that, unlike antibodies to conventional kinesin, the peptide antibodies to the kinesin motor domain immunofluorescently label spindles and kinetochores in mitotic tissue culture cells, suggesting that kinesin-like proteins may have important roles in chromosome movement and mitosis.