We have undertaken a study of phosphofructokinase (PFK; E.C. 22.214.171.124) in the yeast Kluyveromyces lactis. Like other eukaryotic PFKs, the K. lactis enzyme is activated by the allosteric effectors AMP and fructose-2,6-bisphosphate. PFK activity is induced in cells grown on glucose as compared to ethanol-grown cells, in contrast to the constitutive expression of PFK in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We show here that phosphofructokinase of the yeast K. lactis is composed of two non-identical types of subunits, encoded by the genes KIPFK1 and KIPFK2. We have cloned and sequenced both genes. KIPFK1 and KIPFK2 encode the alpha- and the beta-PFK subunits with deduced molecular weights of 109.336 Da and 104.074 Da, respectively. Sequence analysis indicates that the genes evolved from a double duplication event. Null mutants in either of the genes lack detectable PFK activity in vitro and the respective subunits cannot be detected on Western blots. In contrast to the situation in S. cerevisiae, Klpfk1 Klpfk2 double mutants retain the ability to grow on glucose. However, Klpfk2 mutants and the double mutants do not grow on glucose, when respiration is blocked. These data suggest that the pentose phosphate pathway and respiration play a substantial role in glucose utilization by K. lactis. The K. lactis PFK genes can be expressed independently in S. cerevisiae and each of them complements the glucose-negative phenotype of pfk1 pfk2 double deletion mutants in this yeast. Expression of both K. lactis PFK genes simultaneously in S. cerevisiae pfk double deletion mutants complements for PFK activity. However, expression of a combination of PFK genes from K. lactis and S. cerevisiae does not lead to the production of a functional enzyme.