The regulatory HEX2 gene plays an important role in glucose repression in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The hex2 mutants have pleiotropic defects in the regulation of glucose-repressible enzymes, hexokinase PII synthesis and maltose uptake [Entian, K.-D. & Zimmermann, F.K. (1980) Mol. Gen. Genet. 177, 345-350]. The HEX2 gene encodes a protein of 114137 Da, deduced from its DNA sequence. There were no strong similarities to previously known genes. HEX2-lacZ fusions revealed a largely constitutive expression when repressing and non-repressing growth conditions were compared. Cellular fractionation studies indicated a nuclear localization of the Hex2 protein. The hex2 mutation was shown to be allelic to reg1, which releases galactose pathway enzymes from glucose repression [Matsumoto, K., Yoshimatsu, T. & Oshima, Y. (1983) J. Bacteriol. 153, 1405-1414]. Overexpression of HEX2 resulted in a 70% reduction of GAL1 expression under induced growth conditions. Our studies support the view that protein Hex2 is a negative regulatory element in glucose repression which may directly influence transcription, possibly by interaction with transcriptional factors. Deletion experiments identified a central core of Hex2, spanning only 492 out of 1026 amino acid residues, as mainly important for glucose repression. There are two strongly acidic regions within this part of the protein, their possible importance is discussed.