Glucokinase (ATP:D-glucose 6-phosphotransferase, EC 188.8.131.52) plays a pivotal role in hepatic glucose metabolism and serves as the glucose sensor in pancreatic islet beta-cells. Biochemical studies of this enzyme are complicated by the cellular heterogeneity of the liver and the pancreas and because the presence of hexokinases (ATP:D-hexose 6-phosphotransferases, EC 184.108.40.206) seriously interferes with currently available analytical procedures. A radiometric assay was designed to deal with these problems. It is based on the liberation of 3H2O from D-[2-3H(N)]glucose 6-phosphate, the product of the glucokinase reaction, using exogenous phosphoglucose isomerase (D-glucose-6-phosphate ketol-isomerase, EC 220.127.116.11). Interference by hexokinases was largely eliminated by using glucose 6-phosphate as inhibitor and the sensitivity of the assay was greatly increased by using small volumes with the oil well procedure. The assay was sufficiently sensitive to detect about 1 pg of glucokinase. It thus allowed the application of quantitative histochemical procedures to the study of intralobular hepatic glucokinase profiles and the pancreatic beta-cell glucose sensor. The quantitative histochemical procedures were sufficiently sensitive and reliable for measuring important kinetic constants of glucokinase (i.e., the Km and the Hill number) in microscopic samples of tissue.