Nuclear lamins are the most abundant components of the nuclear lamina, a 10-50-nm-thick fibrous layer underlying the inner nuclear envelope membrane. Nevertheless, a number of recent investigations performed on epithelial and fibroblast cells have suggested that nuclear lamins are also present within the nucleoplasm and could be important constituents of the nucleoskeleton. We have studied the subnuclear distribution of lamins A and B1 in human erythroleukemia cells by using immunoblotting analysis and immunofluorescent staining of fractionated nuclei. In intact cells and isolated nuclei, antibodies to lamins A and B1 mainly stained the nuclear periphery, although some immunoreactivity was detected in the nuclear interior. However, when chromatin was removed by nuclease digestion and extraction with nonionic detergent or solutions of high ionic strength, a previously masked immunoreactivity for lamin A, but not for lamin B1, became evident in the internal part of the residual structures representing the nuclear matrix or scaffold. Preferential localization of lamin A to the inner part of the nucleus was also demonstrated by the presence of the majority of lamin A in the solubilized inner nuclear network subfraction. In contrast, lamin B1 was mainly recovered in the fraction corresponding to the nuclear periphery. Double labeling experiments showed that lamin A, but not lamin B1, colocalized with coiled and GATA-1 bodies. Thus, our results support the hypothesis that lamin A, but not lamin B1, may be a component of an internal nucleoskeleton in human erythroleukemia cells.