The sugar nucleotide analogue UDP-glucosamine was found to function as a sugar donor in microsomal preparations of both chick-embryo cells and rat liver, yielding dolichyl monophosphate glucosamine (Dol-P-GlcN). This was characterized by t.l.c. and retention by DEAE-cellulose. Glucosamine was the only water-soluble product released on mild acid hydrolysis. Dol-P-GlcN did not serve as substrate by transferring its glucosamine moiety to dolichol-linked oligosaccharide. Competition experiments between UDP-[3H]glucose and UDP-glucosamine showed Dol-P-[3H]glucose synthesis to be depressed by 56 or 73% in microsomes from chick-embryo cells and rat liver respectively. The concentrations of the UDP-sugars in this experiment were comparable with those occurring in galactosamine-metabolizing liver. These findings suggest that Dol-P-GlcN, formed as a metabolite of D-galactosamine, may interfere with Dol-P-dependent reactions.

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