A new method for detecting invertase activity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae colonies was used to screen for mutants resistant to catabolite repression of invertase. Mutations causing the highest level of derepression were located in two previously identified genes, cyc8 and tup1. Several of the cyc8 mutations, notably cyc8-10 and cyc8-11, were temperature dependent, repressed at 23 degrees C, and derepressed at 37 degrees C. The kinetics of derepression of invertase mRNA in cyc8-10 cells shifted from 23 to 37 degrees C was determined by Northern blots. Invertase mRNA was detectable at 5 min after the shift, with kinetics of accumulation very similar to that of wild-type cells shifted from high-glucose to low-glucose medium. Assays of representative enzymes showed that many but not all glucose-repressible enzymes are derepressed in both cyc8 and tup1 mutants. cyc8 and tup1 appear to be the major negative regulatory genes controlling catabolite repression in yeasts.