Validamycin A is a member of microbial-derived C(7)N-aminocyclitol family of natural products that is widely used as crop protectant and the precursor of the antidiabetic drug voglibose. Its biosynthetic gene clusters have been identified in several Streptomyces hygroscopicus strains, and a number of genes within the clusters have been functionally analyzed. Of these genes, valB, which encodes a sugar nucleotidyltransferase, was found through inactivation study to be essential for validamycin biosynthesis, but its role was unclear. To characterize the role of ValB in validamycin biosynthesis, four carbasugar phosphate analogues were synthesized and tested as substrate for ValB. The results showed that ValB efficiently catalyzes the conversion of valienol 1-phosphate to its nucleotidyl diphosphate derivatives, whereas other unsaturated carbasugar phosphates were found to be not the preferred substrate. ValB requires Mg(2+), Mn(2+), or Co(2+) for its optimal activity and uses the purine-based nucleotidyltriphosphates (ATP and GTP) more efficiently than the pyrimidine-based NTPs (CTP, dTTP, and UTP) as nucleotidyl donor. ValB represents the first member of unsaturated carbasugar nucleotidyltransferases involved in natural products biosynthesis. Its characterization not only expands our understanding of aminocyclitol-derived natural products biosynthesis, but may also facilitate the development of new tools for chemoenzymatic synthesis of carbohydrate mimetics.