The enzyme UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (UGPase) from potato (Solanum tuberosum L. cv Norchip) tubers was purified 177-fold to near homogeneity and to a specific activity of 1099 international units/mg of protein. The molecular mass of the purified enzyme was 53 kD as determined by SDS-PAGE and gel filtration. Immunological and activity assays detected UGPase at similar levels in potato stems, stolons, and tubers. Leaves and roots contained lower levels of UGPase activity and protein. Lineweaver-Burk plots for substrates inorganic pyrophosphate and UDP-glucose were linear in the pyrophosphorolytic direction, yielding Km values of 0.13 and 0.14 mM, respectively. However, Lineweaver-Burk plots for the substrates glucose-1-P and UTP were biphasic in nature when UGPase was assayed in the direction of UDP-glucose synthesis. At physiological substrate concentrations (i.e. from 0.05-0.20 mM), Km values of 0.08 mM (glucose-1-P) and 0.12mM (UTP) were obtained. When substrate concentrations increased above 0.20 mM, Km values increased to 0.68 mM (glucose-1-P) and 0.53 mM (UTP). These kinetic patterns of potato UGPase suggest a "negative cooperative effect" (A. Conway, D.E. Koshland, Jr.  Biochemistry 7: 4011-4022) with respect to the substrates glucose-1-P and UTP. The biphasic substrate saturation curves were similar to the kinetics of the dimeric form of UGPase purified from Salmonella typhimurium (T. Nakae  J Biol Chem 246: 4404-4411). The in vivo significance of the enzyme's "negative cooperativity" in the direction of UDP-glucose synthesis and potato sweetening is discussed.