Chromosomal proteins high mobility group (HMG)-14 and HMG-17 are nucleosomal-binding proteins that unfold the chromatin fiber and enhance transcription from chromatin templates. Their intracellular organization is dynamic and related to both cell cycle and transcription. Here we examine possible mechanisms for targeting HMG-14/-17 to specific regions in chromatin. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays indicate that HMG-17 protein is not preferentially associated with chromatin regions containing transcriptionally active genes, or any type of specific DNA. We used a modification of the random amplified polymorphic DNA method to analyze DNA in various HMG-14/-17.nucleosome complexes. We found that although HMG-14 or HMG-17 proteins preferentially associate with core particles in which the DNA has a low frequency of CG dinucleotides, the genome does not contain consensus sequences that serve as specific targeting sites for the binding of either HMG-14 or HMG-17 proteins to nucleosomes. We used size exclusion and ion exchange chromatography to demonstrate that nuclei contain a large portion of HMG-17 associated with other proteins in a multiprotein complex. We suggest that these complexes regulate the dynamic organization of HMG-14/-17 in the nucleus and serve to target the proteins to specific sites in chromatin.