The ACS1 gene, encoding one out of two acetyl-CoA synthetase isoenzymes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is strictly regulated at the transcriptional level by the carbon source of the medium. While ACS1 is poorly expressed in the presence of a high glucose concentration, a several hundred-fold derepression occurs with ethanol as the sole carbon source or under conditions of sugar limitation. The molecular mechanism responsible for the carbon source control of ACS1 turned out to be highly complex. A carbon source-responsive element (CSRE), previously identified upstream of gluconeogenic structural genes, and a binding site of the alcohol dehydrogenase regulator, Adr1p, together mediate about 80% of the derepressed gene activity. Binding of Adr1p synthesized by Escherichia coli to the ACS1 control region was shown by an electrophoretic mobility shift assay. In addition to these activating elements, two URS1 motifs confer negative control on the ACS1 promoter. The URS1 element was found to be a constitutive repression site, which is most effective from a downstream position with respect to an upstream activation site (UAS). In a mutant lacking the URS1-binding factor, Ume6p, ACS1 expression was partially glucose insensitive. Ume6p must counteract transcription factors that are constitutively active. Site-directed mutagenesis of Abf1p binding sites in the ACS1 promoter significantly reduced gene expression in the ume6 mutant, grown under repressing conditions. Thus, a functional balance of the pleiotropic positive factor Abf1p and the negative factor Ume6p is in part responsible for glucose repression of ACS1. The combined influence of the regulated UAS elements, CSRE and Adr1p binding site, mediates a strong increase in ACS1 expression under derepressing conditions.