A protein (domain) is usually classified into one of the following four structural classes: all-alpha, all-beta, alpha/beta and alpha + beta. In this paper, a new formulation is proposed to predict the structural class of a protein (domain) from its primary sequence. Instead of the amino-acid composition used widely in the previous structural class prediction work, the auto-correlation functions based on the profile of amino-acid index along the primary sequence of the query protein (domain) are used for the structural class prediction. Consequently, the overall predictive accuracy is remarkably improved. For the same training database consisting of 359 proteins (domains) and the same component-coupled algorithm [Chou, K.C. & Maggiora, G.M. (1998) Protein Eng. 11, 523-538], the overall predictive accuracy of the new method for the jackknife test is 5-7% higher than the accuracy based only on the amino-acid composition. The overall predictive accuracy finally obtained for the jackknife test is as high as 90.5%, implying that a significant improvement has been achieved by making full use of the information contained in the primary sequence for the class prediction. This improvement depends on the size of the training database, the auto-correlation functions selected and the amino-acid index used. We have found that the amino-acid index proposed by Oobatake and Ooi, i.e. the average nonbonded energy per residue, leads to the optimal predictive result in the case for the database sets studied in this paper. This study may be considered as an alternative step towards making the structural class prediction more practical.