The transport of glucuronides synthesized in the luminal compartment of the endoplasmic reticulum by UDP-glucuronosyltransferase isoenzymes was studied in rat liver microsomal vesicles. Microsomal vesicles were loaded with p-nitrophenol glucuronide (5 mM), phenolphthalein glucuronide or UDP-glucuronic acid, by a freeze–thawing method. It was shown that: (i) the loading procedure resulted in millimolar intravesicular concentrations of the different loading compounds; (ii) addition of UDP-glucuronic acid (5 mM) to the vesicles released both intravesicular glucuronides within 1 min; (iii) glucuronides stimulated the release of UDP-glucuronic acid from UDP-glucuronic acid-loaded microsomal vesicles; (iv) trans-stimulation of UDP-glucuronic acid entry by loading of microsomal vesicles with p-nitrophenol glucuronide, phenolphthalein glucuronide, UDP-glucuronic acid and UDP-N-acetylglucosamine almost completely abolished the latency of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase, although mannose 6-phosphatase latency remained unaltered; (v) the loading compounds by themselves did not stimulate UDP-glucuronosyltransferase activity. This study indicates that glucuronides synthesized in the lumen of endoplasmic reticulum can leave by an antiport, which concurrently transports UDP-glucuronic acid into the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum.

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