When microinjected into the cytoplasm of 3T3 cells, biotinylated human lamin A rapidly enters the nucleus and gradually becomes incorporated into the nuclear lamina region as determined by immunofluorescence. The incorporation of the microinjected material takes several hours and progresses through a series of morphologically identifiable stages. Within minutes after microinjection, lamin A is found in spots distributed throughout the nucleus, except in nucleolar regions. Over a time course of up to 6 h, these spots appear to decrease in size and number as the biotinylated lamin A becomes associated with the endogenous nuclear lamina. Eventually, the typical nuclear rim staining pattern normally revealed by immunofluorescence with nuclear lamin antibodies is seen with antibiotin. This latter rim staining property is passed on to daughter cells following mitosis. These results indicate that the microinjected biotinylated nuclear lamin A retains those properties required for its integration into the lamina, as well as those necessary for the disassembly and subsequent reassembly of the nuclear lamina during cell division. The initial rapid accumulation into foci and the subsequent slower incorporation into the nuclear lamina appear to be analogous to the stages of incorporation following the microinjection of cytoskeletal intermediate filament proteins such as vimentin and keratin (Vikstrom, K., G. G. Borisy, and R. D. Goldman. 1989. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 86:549-553; Miller, R. K., K. Vikstrom, and R. D. Goldman. 1991. J. Cell Biol. 113:843-855). Foci are also observed in some uninjected cells using nuclear lamin antibodies, indicating that these features are a genuine component of nuclear substructure. Evidence is presented that shows the appearance of these nuclear structures is cell cycle dependent.