The nuclear lamins are karyoskeletal proteins which have important functions, such as maintaining nuclear envelope integrity and organizing high order nuclear structure during mitosis in higher eukaryotes. In somatic mammalian cells, the A-type and B-type lamins, composed of lamins A and C and lamins B1 and B2, are major components of the nuclear lamina. However, A-type lamins have as yet not been identified in germ cells and undifferentiated embryonic cells. Here we report the cloning of a new 52-kDa A-type lamin from mouse pachytene spermatocytes, termed lamin C2 because of its similarities with lamin C. It has a sequence identical to that of lamin C except that the N-terminal segment, containing the head and the alpha-helical coil 1A domains, is replaced with a short non-alpha-helical stretch of amino acids. In mice, lamin C2 was found to be specifically expressed in germ cells. This specific expression and unique structure suggests a role for lamin C2 in determining the organization of nuclear and chromosomal structures during spermatogenesis.