One molecule of glucose 6-phosphate inhibits brain hexokinase (HKI) with high affinity by binding to either one of two sites located in distinct halves of the enzyme. In addition to potent inhibition, glucose 6-phosphate releases HKI from the outer leaflet of mitochondria; however, the site of glucose 6-phosphate association responsible for the release of HKI is unclear. The incorporation of a C-terminal polyhistidine tag on HKI facilitates the rapid purification of recombinant enzyme from Escherichia coli. The tagged construct has N-formyl methionine as its first residue and has mitochondrial association properties comparable with native brain hexokinases. Release of wild-type and mutant hexokinases from mitochondria by glucose 6-phosphate follow equilibrium models, which explain the release phenomenon as the repartitioning of ligand-bound HKI between solution and the membrane. Mutations that block the binding of glucose 6-phosphate to the C-terminal half of HKI have little or no effect on the glucose 6-phosphate release. In contrast, mutations that block glucose 6-phosphate binding to the N-terminal half require approximately 7-fold higher concentrations of glucose 6-phosphate for the release of HKI. Results here implicate a primary role for the glucose 6-phosphate binding site at the N-terminal half of HKI in the release mechanism.