We recently compared the regulation of glucose-6-phosphatase (G-6-Pase) catalytic subunit and glucose 6-phosphate (G-6-P) transporter gene expression by insulin in conscious dogs in vivo (Hornbuckle LA, Edgerton DS, Ayala JE, Svitek CA, Neal DW, Cardin S, Cherrington AD, and O'Brien RM. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 281: E713-E725, 2001). In pancreatic-clamped, euglycemic conscious dogs, a 5-h period of hypoinsulinemia led to a marked increase in hepatic G-6-Pase catalytic subunit mRNA; however, G-6-P transporter mRNA was unchanged. Here, we demonstrate, again using pancreatic-clamped, conscious dogs, that glucagon is a candidate for the factor responsible for this selective induction. Thus glucagon stimulated G-6-Pase catalytic subunit but not G-6-P transporter gene expression in vivo. Furthermore, cAMP stimulated endogenous G-6-Pase catalytic subunit gene expression in HepG2 cells but had no effect on G-6-P transporter gene expression. The cAMP response element (CRE) that mediates this induction was identified through transient transfection of HepG2 cells with G-6-Pase catalytic subunit-chloramphenicol acetyltransferase fusion genes. Gel retardation assays demonstrate that this CRE binds several transcription factors including CRE-binding protein and CCAAT enhancer-binding protein.