The single copy Drosophila alpha-actinin gene is alternatively spliced to generate three different isoforms that are expressed in larval muscle, adult muscle and non-muscle cells, respectively. We have generated novel alpha-actinin alleles, which specifically remove the non-muscle isoform. Homozygous mutant flies are viable and fertile with no obvious defects. Using a monoclonal antibody that recognizes all three splice variants, we compared alpha-actinin distribution in wild type and mutant embryos and ovaries. We found that non-muscle alpha-actinin was present in young embryos and in the embryonic central nervous system. In ovaries, non-muscle alpha-actinin was localized in the nurse cell subcortical cytoskeleton, cytoplasmic actin cables and ring canals. In the mutant, alpha-actinin expression remained in muscle tissues, but also in a subpopulation of epithelial cells in both embryos and ovaries. This suggests that various populations of non-muscle cells regulate alpha-actinin expression in different ways. We also show that ectopically expressed adult muscle-specific alpha-actinin localizes to all F-actin containing structures in the nurse cells in the absence of endogenous non-muscle alpha-actinin.