The MAL61 gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae encodes maltose permease, a protein required for the transport of maltose across the plasma membrane. Here we report the nucleotide sequence of the cloned MAL61 gene. A single 1842 bp open reading frame is present within this region encoding the 614 residue putative MAL61 protein. Hydropathy analysis suggests that the secondary structure consists of two blocks of six transmembrane domains separated by an approximately 71 residue intracellular region. The N-terminal and C-terminal domains of 100 and 67 residues in length, respectively, also appear to be intracellular. Significant sequence and structural homology is seen between the MAL61 protein and the Saccharomyces high-affinity glucose transporter encoded by the SNF3 gene, the Kluyveromyces lactis lactose permease encoded by the LAC12 gene, the human HepG2 glucose transporter and the Escherichia coli xylose and arabinose transporters encoded by the xylE and araE genes, indicating that all are members of a family of sugar transporters and are related either functionally or evolutionarily. A mechanism for glucose-induced inactivation of maltose transport activity is discussed.