Sugars, such as sucrose and glucose, have been implicated in the regulation of diverse developmental events in plants and other organisms. We isolated an Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) mutant, sugar-insensitive3 (sis3), that is resistant to the inhibitory effects of high concentrations of exogenous glucose and sucrose on early seedling development. In contrast to wildtype plants, sis3 mutants develop green, expanded cotyledons and true leaves when sown on medium containing high concentrations (e.g. 270 mM) of sucrose. Unlike some other sugar response mutants, sis3 exhibits wild-type responses to the inhibitory effects of abscisic acid and paclobutrazol, a gibberellic acid biosynthesis inhibitor, on seed germination. Map-based cloning revealed that SIS3 encodes a RING finger protein. Complementation of the sis3-2 mutant with a genomic SIS3 clone restored sugar sensitivity of sis3-2, confirming the identity of the SIS3 gene. Biochemical analyses demonstrated that SIS3 is functional in an in vitro ubiquitination assay and that the RING motif is sufficient for its activity. Our results indicate that SIS3 encodes a ubiquitin E3 ligase that is a positive regulator of sugar signaling during early seedling development.