Glucokinase is expressed in both the liver and the pancreatic beta-cell and plays a key role in the metabolism of glucose by both tissues. Expression of this enzyme is differentially regulated; hepatic glucokinase is stimulated by insulin and repressed by cAMP, whereas beta-cell glucokinase activity is increased by glucose. Recently, the glucokinase gene has been characterized and was found to contain two different transcription control regions. One region regulates transcription of the gene in the liver, whereas the other region, which lies at least 12 kilobases further upstream, controls transcription in the pancreatic beta-cell. The finding of two different transcription control regions in a single glucokinase gene provides a genetic basis for the tissue-specific differential regulation of glucokinase and will serve as the basis for further studies to identify and characterize the different regulatory elements and factors in the liver and beta-cell, which are presumably involved. Comparison of different glucokinase cDNAs isolated from hepatic, insulinoma, and islet cDNA libraries indicates that at least three glucokinase isoforms are generated by differential RNA processing of the glucokinase gene transcripts. Whether any of these glucokinase isoforms are functionally unique remains to be determined.