During the biosynthesis of heparan sulfate (HS), glucuronyl C5-epimerase (Hsepi) catalyzes C5-epimerization of glucuronic acid (GlcA), converting it to iduronic acid (IdoA). Because HS 2-O-sulfotransferase (Hs2st) shows a strong substrate preference for IdoA over GlcA, C5-epimerization is required for normal HS sulfation. However, the physiological significance of C5-epimerization remains elusive. To understand the role of Hsepi in development, we isolated Drosophila Hsepi mutants. Homozygous mutants are viable and fertile with only minor morphological defects, including the formation of an ectopic crossvein in the wing, but they have a short lifespan.Wepropose that two mechanisms contribute to the mild phenotypes of Hsepi mutants: HS sulfation compensation and possible developmental roles of 2-O-sulfated GlcA (GlcA2S). HS disaccharide analysis showed that loss of Hsepi resulted in a significant impairment of 2-O-sulfation and induced compensatory increases in N- and 6-O-sulfation. Simultaneous block of Hsepi and HS 6-O-sulfotransferase (Hs6st) activity disrupted tracheoblast formation, a well established FGF-dependent process. This result suggests that the increase in 6-O-sulfation in Hsepi mutants is critical for the rescue of FGF signaling.We also found that the ectopic crossvein phenotype can be induced by expression of a mutant form of Hs2st with a strong substrate preference for GlcA-containing units, suggesting that thisphenotypeis associated with abnormal GlcA 2-O-sulfation. Finally, we show that Hsepi formed a complex with Hs2st and Hs6st in S2 cells, raising the possibility that this complex formation contributes to the close functional relationships between these enzymes.