UDP-GlcNAc:lysosomal enzyme N-acetylglucosamine-1-phosphotransferase (GlcNAc-1-phosphotransferase) mediates the first step in the synthesis of the mannose 6-phosphate recognition markeronacidhydrolases.Thetransferaseexistsasan α2β2γ2 hexameric complex with the α- and β-subunits derived from a single precursor molecule. The catalytic function of the transferase is attributed to the α- and β-subunits, whereas the γ-subunit is believed to be involved in the recognition of a conformation-dependent protein determinant common to acid hydrolases. Using knock-out mice with mutations in either the α/β gene or the γ gene, we show that disruption of the α/β gene completely abolishes phosphorylation of high mannose oligosaccharides on acid hydrolases whereas knock-out of the γ gene results in only a partial loss of phosphorylation. These findings demonstrate that the α/β-subunits, in addition to their catalytic function, have some ability to recognize acid hydrolases as specific substrates. This process is enhanced by the γ-subunit.