1. Investigations with structural analogues of phenylalanine indicated an absolute requirement for the aromatic ring and both the alpha-carboxyl and alpha-amino groups of phenylalanine for inhibition of 3-deoxy-D-arabinoheptulosonate-7-phosphate synthetase(phe) activity. Replacement of the alpha-H atom with a methyl group does not decrease the inhibition greatly. Varying degrees of inhibition were observed with o, m and p mono-substituted fluoro, chloro and hydroxy phenylalanines. D-Phenylalanine and several metabolites of the aromatic biosynthetic pathways do not inhibit enzymic activity. 2. Circular dichroism studies indicated that the native enzyme possesses approximately 26% alpha-helix. Both circular dichroic and ultraviolet difference spectra indicated that the addition of phenylalanine to the synthetase induces a conformational change involving a small alteration of the secondary structure and large alterations in th interactions of some of the aromatic residues of the enzyme. In particular, a tryptophan residue moves from an extremly hydrophobic environment to one less hydrophobic. 3. Kd for the binding of phenylalanine to the enzyme was determined spectrophotometrically to be 75 muM. 4. Chemical modification studies suggested that a sulphydryl group and possibly a lysine residue may be implicated in the catalytic activity of the enzyme.