The first enzyme in the dolichol pathway of protein N-glycosylation, dolichol-P-dependent N-acetylglucosamine-1-phosphate transferase, GPT, has been implicated in the development of a wide variety of eukaryotes. GPT is encoded by ALG7, an early growth-response gene, whose expression has been shown to affect the extent of N-glycosylation and secretion of proteins. To initiate the molecular characterization of ALG7 involvement in mammalian growth and differentiation, we have used the postnatally developing hamster submandibular gland (SMG) as an experimental paradigm. In this study we report that the ALG7 gene was differentially expressed during postnatal development and in terminally differentiated adult tissues. Throughout development, GPT activity paralleled ALG7 mRNA levels, suggesting that the amount of functional enzyme was determined by modulation of transcript abundance.