Nuclei isolated from eukaryotic cells can be depleted of histones and most soluble nuclear proteins to isolate a structural framework called the nuclear scaffold. This structure maintains specific interactions with genomic DNA at sites known as scaffold attached regions (SARs), which are thought to be the bases of DNA loops. In both Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe, genomic ARS elements are recovered as SARs. In addition, SARs from Drosophila melanogaster bind to yeast nuclear scaffolds in vitro and a subclass of these promotes autonomous replication of plasmids in yeast. In the present report, we present fine mapping studies of the Drosophila ftz SAR, which has both SAR and ARS activities in yeast. The data establish a close relationship between the sequences involved in ARS activity and scaffold binding: ARS elements that can bind the nuclear scaffold in vitro promote more efficient plasmid replication in vivo, but scaffold association is not a strict prerequisite for ARS function. Efficient interaction with nuclear scaffolds from both yeast and Drosophila requires a minimal length of SAR DNA that contains reiteration of a narrow minor groove structure of the double helix.