The Na+/K+ ATPase is a membrane protein that is composed of two subunits - α and β. The pump maintains an essential electrochemical gradient within cells through the active transport of sodium (Na+) and potassium (K+) ions, and is the driving force for membrane excitability.
The Na+ gradient set by the Na+/K+ ATPase is functionally coupled to the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) and therefore the Na+/K+ ATPase can also indirectly influence intracellular calcium concentration. For example, inhibition of the Na+/K+ ATPase in vascular smooth muscle cells and cardiomyocytes leads to the reversal of the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger and results in an increased force of contraction in the heart muscle and in arteries. This effect is induced therapeutically in the treatment of heart failure.
The Na+/K+ ATPase is also involved in additional cellular processes including excitability of nerves, and the transport of glucose and amino acids across the cell membrane. More recently, evidence has emerged of a second role for the Na+/K+ ATPase as a signaling mediator: the extracellular loops of the catalytic α subunit act as a receptor for cardiac glycosides. Upon ligand binding to the extracellular loops, the Na+/K+ ATPase interacts with neighboring proteins and influences cellular functions including protein synthesis.View all products for Na+/K+ ATPase »
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|View all Na+/K+ ATPases Gene Data »|
Literature for Na+/K+ ATPase
A collection of over 250 products for cardiovascular research, the guide includes research tools for the study of:
- Thrombosis and Hemostasis
- Myocardial Infarction
- Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury
- Heart Failure
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