The Na,K-ATPase or sodium pump carries out the coupled extrusion and uptake of Na and K ions across the plasma membranes of cells of most higher eukaryotes. It is a member of the P-type ATPase superfamily. This heterodimeric integral membrane protein is composed of a 100-kDa α-subunit with ten transmembrane segments and a heavily glycosylated β subunit of about 55 kDa, which is a type II membrane protein. Current ideas on how the protein achieves active transport are based on a fusion of results of transport physiology, protein chemistry, and heterologous expression of mutant proteins. Recently acquired high resolution structural information provides an important new avenue for a more complete understanding of this protein. In this review, the current status of knowledge of Na,K-ATPase is discussed, and areas where there is still considerable uncertainty are highlighted.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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