Clathrin-adaptor complexes (APs) are vesicle coat components that participate in cargo selectivity and transport vesicle formation. Here we cloned and characterized apm1, apm3 and apm4 cDNAs encoding AP medium chains (mu) in D. discoideum. Amino acid comparison suggested that predicted proteins were homologous to known mu1, mu3 and mu4 subunits of mammalian APs as they shared 69, 51, and 26% identity with mouse mu1A, human mu3A and human mu4, respectively. In all chains, amino acid residues predicted to interact with tyrosine based sorting signals were conserved. Southern blot analysis indicated only one copy of each gene in D. discoideum genome. Expression of apm1 and apm3 mRNAs stayed relatively constant during vegetative growth and throughout development. In contrast, apm4 was poorly expressed in amoebae but became well detectable by RT-PCR upon cell differentiation. This regulated expression of coat proteins enlightens the importance of intracellular membrane transport vesicles during development in D. discoideum and strengthens this attractive model organism for studying the function of coat complexes in vivo.