This report shows that human telomeres are tightly associated with the nuclear matrix. Telomere attachment is observed in several cell types and in all stages of interphase. Mapping experiments show that telomeres are anchored via their TTAGGG repeats; a subtelomeric repeat located immediately proximal to the telomeric TTAGGG repeats is quantitatively released from the nuclear matrix by restriction endonuclease cleavage. TTAGGG repeats introduced at chromosome-internal sites by DNA transfection do not behave as matrix attached loci, suggesting that the telomeric position of the repeats is required for their interaction with the nuclear matrix. These findings are consistent with the idea that telomeres function as a nucleoprotein complex.