We have previously identified a number of specific DNA fragments called SARs (scaffold-associated regions) that are associated with the nuclear scaffold and define the basis of DNA loops. We demonstrate that cloned DNA fragments containing SAR sequences bind to nuclear scaffolds in vitro with the same specificity as have genomic SAR fragments. This specific interaction is observed with the biochemically complex type I scaffolds. These scaffolds are composed of the nuclear lamina proteins and a set of other proteins that forms the internal network of these structures. So-called type II scaffolds, which are composed primarily of the lamina proteins and lack the proteins of the internal network, do not bind the SAR fragments at a detectable level. Competition experiments show that different SARs share common structural elements and can bind to the same sites on the nuclear scaffold, although with different affinities. Moreover, the SAR binding sites appear to be evolutionarily conserved, as all the Drosophila SARs also bind with identical specificity to nuclear scaffolds derived from rat liver nuclei. These Sar interaction studies were carried out with lithium 3,5-diiodosalicylate-extracted nuclei. Interestingly, scaffolds prepared by high-salt extraction also bind the genomic and exogenously added SAR fragments specifically. However, the endogenous transcribed sequences, as opposed to the same fragments added as purified DNA, associate randomly with these scaffolds.