Na+/K+ ATPase

Supporting information

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.

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Gene Species Gene Symbol Gene Accession No. Protein Accession No.
ATP1A1 Human ATP1A1 NM_000701 P05023
Mouse Atp1a1 NM_144900 Q8VDN2
Rat Atp1a1 NM_012504 P06685
ATP1A2 Human ATP1A2 NM_000702 P50993
Mouse Atp1a2 NM_178405 Q6PIE5
Rat Atp1a2 NM_012505 P06686
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Literature for Na+/K+ ATPase

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