Several arabinosyl-, xylosyl-, lyxosyl, 5'-deoxy-, acyclo-, 2,2'-anhydro-, 2,3'-anhydro-2'-deoxy-, 2,5'-anhydro-, 6,5'-cyclo-, and carbocyclic analogues of uridine with various 5-substitutions (fluoro, methyl, bromo, ethyl, benzyl, or benzyloxybenzyl) have been tested and compared with their corresponding ribo- and 2'-deoxyribosides for their potency to inhibit uridine phosphorylase (UrdPase) from both mouse and human livers. The effect of the α- and β-configurations of the glycosidic bond was also tested. Xylo, lyxo-, 2,3'-anhydro-2'-deoxy-, 6,5'-cyclo-, and carbocyclic uridines did not bind to the enzyme. Ribosides bound better than the corresponding 2'-deoxyribosides, which were better than the 5'-deoxyribosides. 2'-α-Deoxyribosides bound to the enzyme, albeit less tightly than the corresponding β-anomers. The acyclo- and 2,2'-anhydrouridines were all potent inhibitors with 2,2'-anhydro-derivatives being the most potent. 2,5'-Anhydrouridine bound to UrdPase less effectively than 2,2'-anhydrouridine and acyclouridine. Arabinosyl uracil was at best a very poor inhibitor but binds better if a benzyl group is added at the 5-position of the pyrimidine ring. This binding was enhanced further by adding a 5-benzyloxybenzyl group. A similar enhancement of the binding with increased hydrophobicity at the 5-position of the pyrimidine ring was observed with ribosides, α- and β-anomers of the 2'-deoxyribosides, acyclonucleosides, and 2,2'-anhydronucleosides. The inhibitory potencies of these compounds with UrdPase from human liver roughly parallel those obtained with UrdPase from mouse liver. It is concluded that the presence of a N-glycosidic bond as well as properly oriented 3'-hydroxyl group are prerequisites for a nucleoside ligand to bind to UrdPase. On the other hand, the presence of a 2'- or 5'-hydroxyl group or an N-glycosidic bond in the β-configuration enhances but is not essential for binding. Furthermore, the potency of the binding of 2,2'-anhydrouridines (fixed syn-isomers) in contrast to the complete lack of binding of the 6,5'-cyclouridines (fixed anti-isomers) to UrdPase indicates that the binding of ligands to this enzyme is in the syn-conformation around the N-glycosidic bond.