Escherichia coli adapted to glucose-limited chemostats contained mutations in ptsG resulting in V12G, V12F, and G13C substitutions in glucose- specific enzyme II (EII(Glc)) and resulting in increased transport of glucose and methyl-α-glucoside. The mutations also resulted in faster growth on mannose and glucosamine in a PtsG-dependent manner. By use of enhanced growth on glucosamine for selection, four further sites were identified where substitutions caused broadened substrate specificity (G176D, A288V, G320S, and P384R). The altered amino acids include residues previously identified as changing the uptake of ribose, fructose, and mannitol. The mutations belonged to two classes. First, at two sites, changes affected transmembrane residues (A288V and G320S), probably altering sugar selectivity directly. More remarkably, the five other specificity mutations affected residues unlikely to be in transmembrane segments and were additionally associated with increased ptsG transcription in the absence of glucose. Increased expression of wild-type EII(Glc) was not by itself sufficient for growth with other sugars. A model is proposed in which the protein conformation determining sugar accessibility is linked to transcriptional signal transduction in EII(Glc). The conformation of EII(Glc) elicited by either glucose transport in the wild-type protein or permanently altered conformation in the second category of mutants results in altered signal transduction and interaction with a regulator, probably Mlc, controlling the transcription of pts genes.