SacY antiterminates transcription of the sacB gene in Bacillus subtilis in response to the presence of sucrose in the growth medium. We have found that it can substitute for BglG, a homologous protein, in antiterminating transcription of the bgl operon in Escherichia coli. We therefore sought to determine whether, similarly to BglG, SacY is regulated by reversible phosphorylation in response to the availability of the inducing sugar. We show here that two forms of SacY, phosphorylated and nonphosphorylated, exist in B. subtilis cells and that the ratio between them depends on the external level of sucrose. Addition of sucrose to the growth medium after SacY phosphorylation in the cell resulted in its rapid dephosphorylation. The extent of SacY phosphorylation was found to be proportional to the cellular levels of SacX, a putative sucrose permease which was previously shown to have a negative effect on SacY activity. Thus, the mechanism by which the sac sensory system modulates sacB expression in response to sucrose involves reversible phosphorylation of the regulator SacY, and this process appears to depend on the SacX sucrose sensor. The sac system is therefore a member of the novel family of sensory systems represented by bgl.