The glucuronic acid adducts of 1-naphthol, 2-naphthol and 4-methylumbelliferone activate microsomal UDP-glucuronyltransferase (EC 2.4.1.17) when the enzyme is assayed with p-nitrophenol as aglycone. Phenyl glucuronide and oestriol 3β-glucuronide also activate UDP-glucuronyltransferase. but to a lesser extent. Activation by glucuronides is not dependent on metal ions, but is blocked by prior treatment of microsomal fractions with p-chloromercuribenzoate. The kinetic mechanism of activation is concluded to be an increase in the affinity of the enzyme for UDP-glucuronic acid. Activation by 1-naphthyl glucuronide, at high concentrations of p-nitrophenol, is not affected by 1-naphthol. Apparently 1-naphthyl glucuronide activates the preparation by binding at a site that is separate from the site of glucuronidation of 1-naphthol. Further evidence for the existence of distinct effector sites for the glucuronides was provided by the finding that activation by glucuronides is inhibited competitively by aglycone glucosides. These glucosides do not inhibit the rate of glucuronidation of p-nitrophenol in the absence of glucuronide adducts, nor do they alter the rate of glucuronidation of 1-naphthol. When UDP-glucuronyltransferase is assayed with 1-naphthol as aglycone it is activated by p-nitrophenyl glucuronide, 4-methyl-umbelliferyl glucuronide and under appropriate conditions by its own glucuronide. These activations are similarly inhibited by aglycone glucosides. p-Nitrophenyl glucuronide also stimulates the rate of glucuronidation of o-aminophenol, o-aminobenzoate and bilirubin.

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