In animals, the main precursor for glycosaminoglycan and furthermore proteoglycan biosynthesis, like hyaluronic acid, is UDP-glucuronic acid, which is synthesized via the nucleotide sugar oxidation pathway. Mutations in this pathway cause severe developmental defects (deficiency in the initiation of heart valve formation). In plants, UDP-glucuronic acid is synthesized via two independent pathways. Beside the nucleotide sugar oxidation pathway, a second minor route to UDP-glucuronic acid exist termed the myo-inositol oxygenation pathway. Within this myo-inositol is ring cleaved into glucuronic acid, which is subsequently converted to UDP-glucuronic acid by glucuronokinase and UDP-sugar pyrophosphorylase. Here we report on a similar, but bifunctional enzyme from zebrafish (Danio rerio) which has glucuronokinase/putative pyrophosphorylase activity. The enzyme can convert glucuronic acid into UDP-glucuronic acid, required for completion of the alternative pathway to UDP-glucuronic acid via myo-inositol and thus establishes a so far unknown second route to UDP-glucuronic acid in animals. Glucuronokinase from zebrafish is a member of the GHMP-kinase superfamily having unique substrate specificity for glucuronic acid with a Km of 318 M and accepting ATP as the only phosphate donor (Km: 599 M). UDP-glucuronic acid pyrophosphorylase from zebrafish has homology to bacterial nucleotidyltransferases and requires UTP as nucleosid diphosphate donor. Genes for bifunctional glucuronokinase and putative UDP-glucuronic acid pyrophosphorylase are conserved among some groups of lower animals, including fishes, frogs, tunicates, and polychaeta, but are absent from mammals. The existence of a second pathway for UDP-glucuronic acid biosynthesis in zebrafish likely explains some previous contradictory finding in jekyll/ugdh zebrafish developmental mutants, which showed residual glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans in knockout mutants of UDP-glucose dehydrogenase.