Role in metabolism
UTP also has the role of a source of energy or an activator of substrates in metabolic reactions, like that of ATP, but more specific. When UTP activates a substrate (like Glucose-1-phosphate), UDP-glucose is formed and inorganic phosphate is released. UDP-glucose enters the synthesis of glycogen. UTP is used in the metabolism of galactose, where the activated form UDP-galactose is converted to UDP-glucose. UDP-glucuronate is used to conjugate bilirubin to a more water-soluble bilirubin diglucuronide. UTP is also used to activate amino sugars like Glucosamine-1-phosphate to UDP-glucosamine, and N-acetyl-glucosamine-1-phosphate to UDP-N-acetylglucosamine.
Role in receptor mediation
UTP also has roles in mediating responses by extracellular binding to the P2Y receptors of cells. UTP and its derivatives are still being investigated for their applications in human medicine.