Trehalose-6-phosphate (P) competitively inhibited the hexokinases from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The strongest inhibition was observed upon hexokinase II, with a Ki of 40 microM, while in the case of hexokinase I the Ki was 200 microM. Glucokinase was not inhibited by trehalose-6-P up to 5 mM. This inhibition appears to have physiological significance, since the intracellular levels of trehalose-6-P were about 0.2 mM. Hexokinases from other organisms were also inhibited, while glucokinases were unaffected. The hexokinase from the yeast, Yarrowia lipolytica, was particularly sensitive to the inhibition by trehalose-6-P: when assayed with 2 mM fructose an apparent Ki of 5 microM was calculated. Two S. cerevisiae mutants with abnormal levels of trehalose-6-P exhibited defects in glucose metabolism. It is concluded that trehalose-6-P plays an important role in the regulation of the first steps of yeast glycolysis, mainly through the inhibition of hexokinase II.