UDP-galacturonic acid, the activated form of galacturonic acid (GalUA), is synthesized both de novo and by salvage pathways. The UDP-GalUA pyrophosphorylase gene involved in the salvage pathway has not been identified. Here we show that UDP-sugar pyrophosphorylase from Pisum sativum with a broad specificity has UDP-GalUA pyrophosphorylase activity. The enzyme catalyzed the formation of UDP-GalUA and pyrophosphate from GalUA 1-phosphate and UTP with an equil. const. value of 0.24. The recombinant UDP-sugar pyrophosphorylase had optimal pH of 6.0, and the apparent Km values for GalUA 1-phosphate, UTP, UDP-GalUA, and pyrophosphate were 2.27, 1.15, 0.70, and 1.26 mM, resp. In the presence of inorg. pyrophosphatase, the recombinant enzyme produced UDP-GalUA in an 84% yield (based on the GalUA 1-phosphate substrate) on a preparative scale. Thus, this UDP-sugar pyrophosphorylase is useful for the highly efficient prodn. of UDP-GalUA for studies on pectin biosynthesis.