Mechanisms of sodium pump regulation

Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2000 Sep;279(3):C541-66. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.2000.279.3.C541.


The Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase, or sodium pump, is the membrane-bound enzyme that maintains the Na(+) and K(+) gradients across the plasma membrane of animal cells. Because of its importance in many basic and specialized cellular functions, this enzyme must be able to adapt to changing cellular and physiological stimuli. This review presents an overview of the many mechanisms in place to regulate sodium pump activity in a tissue-specific manner. These mechanisms include regulation by substrates, membrane-associated components such as cytoskeletal elements and the gamma-subunit, and circulating endogenous inhibitors as well as a variety of hormones, including corticosteroids, peptide hormones, and catecholamines. In addition, the review considers the effects of a range of specific intracellular signaling pathways involved in the regulation of pump activity and subcellular distribution, with particular consideration given to the effects of protein kinases and phosphatases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hormones / physiology
  • Humans
  • Membranes / metabolism
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / metabolism*
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Hormones
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase