The glucokinase gene is 15.5-kilobases long, appears to be present as a single copy, and contains 10 exons that range in size from 96 to 977 base pairs. The transcription start site was located 127 nucleotides upstream from the translation initiation codon. The 5' flanking DNA contains several regions similar to defined promoter elements. These include a probable "TATA box," an Sp1 binding site, and several elements related to liver-specific gene expression. In addition, we determined that transcription of the glucokinase gene increased at least 20-fold when diabetic rats were treated with insulin for 2 hr.