A cluster of unlinked genes encoding gluconeogenic enzymes in the mouse is characterized by the failure of normal hormone-inducible expression in animals homozygous for one of several overlapping deletions mapping on chromosome 7 near the albino locus. Previous investigations have shown hormones and their receptors to be normal in the mutants and therefore not responsible for the abnormalities of inducibility. Instead, these studies have implicated a possible failure of the affected structural enzyme genes themselves to attain during prenatal development the competence for inducible gene expression. The results reported here add serine dehydratase (EC 188.8.131.52) and its structural gene to the affected group of gluconeogenic enzymes and their genes. Even though, in deletion homozygotes, serine dehydratase is expressed normally on the constitutive level, hormone-inducible expression fails to develop. The abnormality appears to reside in a defect of prenatal differentiation of cis-acting regulatory elements of the structural gene essential in the pathway of inducible gene expression.