The interaction of sodium and potassium with the sodium pump in red cells

The Journal of Physiology
R P Garay, P J Garrahan


1. At high internal K concentrations the efflux of Na from red cells increases with internal Na concentration following an S-shaped curve. As internal K is reduced the S-shaped region and the value of internal Na for which the Na efflux is half-maximal are both shifted progressively towards zero.2. The effects of internal Na on the shape of the Na efflux curves can be quantitatively accounted for if it is assumed that the rate of Na efflux is linearly related to the number of pump units having three identical and non-interacting sites occupied by Na.3. The effects of internal K on the shape of the Na efflux curves are fully explained if it is assumed that the inner sites for Na of the Na pump also behave as identical and non-interacting sites for internal K, being the K-carrier complexes unable to promote Na translocation. The apparent affinity of the Na pump for internal K is about 50 times less than for internal Na.4. Internal K not only alters the apparent affinity of the Na pump for Na, but also affects its turnover rate. The turnover rate of Na: K exchange increases with internal K following a curve which saturates at about 30 mM internal K. The turnover rate for Na:Na exchange increases linearly with internal K.5. The lin...Continue Reading


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