The inhibition of glucokinase by rat and Xenopus GKRPs (glucokinase regulatory protein) is well documented. We report a comparison of the effects of human and rat GKRPs on glucokinase activity. Human GKRP is a more potent inhibitor of glucokinase than rat GKRP in the absence of fructose 6-phosphate or sorbitol 6-phosphate, and has a higher affinity for these ligands. However, human and rat GKRPs have similar affinities for fructose 1-phosphate and chloride. Residues that are not conserved between the rodent and human proteins affect both the affinity for fructose 6-phosphate and sorbitol 6-phosphate and the inhibitory potency of GKRP on glucokinase in the absence of these ligands.