The Streptococcus gordonii glucosyltransferase gene, gtfG, is positively regulated by the upstream determinant rgg. In the present study, two ORFs, transcribed on the opposite DNA strand, were identified immediately downstream of gtfG. The first, designated dsg, shares a convergent putative transcriptional terminator with gtfG, and encodes a predicted 46 kDa transmembrane protein similar to the Yersinia enterocolitica TrsA involved in polysaccharide biosynthesis. Insertional inactivation of dsg resulted in only approximately approximately 60% of the parental level of glucosyltransferase activity. The 870 bp gene 5' to dsg is similar to the gtfG regulatory determinant. Designated rggD, this rgg-like determinant downstream of gtfG encodes a putative 33.6 kDa cytoplasmic protein. Despite their sequence similarity, the functions of rgg and rggD appear specific. Strains in which rggD was insertionally inactivated and strains containing plasmid-borne rggD had parental levels of glucosyltransferase activity. Northern blot hybridization analyses showed approximately 1.3 kb dsg-specific and approximately 1.0 kb rggD-specific mRNA transcripts associated with this region; no polycistronic transcript was observed. Although rgg-like gene products have been demonstrated to function as positive transcriptional regulators of adjacent genes in several streptococcal species, Northern blot analysis suggested that rggD did not influence the transcription of dsg or the divergent downstream ylbN-like determinant under the conditions in the present study. Comparison of this S. gordonii chromosome region to other streptococcal genomes, which do not contain the rgg/rggD-flanked region involved in glucan synthesis, raised intriguing possibilities about the origins of this chromosomal region, and also suggested that rggD might regulate a distally located gene.