In the presence of glucose, yeast undergoes an important remodelling of its metabolism. There are changes in the concentration of intracellular metabolites and in the stability of proteins and mRNAs; modifications occur in the activity of enzymes as well as in the rate of transcription of a large number of genes, some of the genes being induced while others are repressed. Diverse combinations of input signals are required for glucose regulation of gene expression and of other cellular processes. This review focuses on the early elements in glucose signalling and discusses their relevance for the regulation of specific processes. Glucose sensing involves the plasma membrane proteins Snf3, Rgt2 and Gpr1 and the glucose-phosphorylating enzyme Hxk2, as well as other regulatory elements whose functions are still incompletely understood. The similarities and differences in the way in which yeasts and mammalian cells respond to glucose are also examined. It is shown that in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, sensing systems for other nutrients share some of the characteristics of the glucose-sensing pathways.