1. The pancreatic variant of the sodium bicarbonate cotransporter, pNBC1, mediates basolateral bicarbonate influx in the exocrine pancreas by coupling the transport of bicarbonate to that of sodium, with a 2 HCO3-:1 Na+ stoichiometry. The kidney variant, kNBC1, mediates basolateral bicarbonate efflux in the proximal tubule by coupling the transport of 3 HCO3- to 1 Na+. The molecular basis underlying the different stoichiometries is not known. 2. pNBC1 and kNBC1 are 93 % identical to each other with 41 N-terminal amino acids of kNBC1 replaced by 85 distinct amino acids in pNBC1. In this study we tested the hypothesis that the differences in stoichiometry are related to the difference between the N-termini of the two proteins. 3. Mouse renal proximal tubule and collecting duct cells, deficient in both pNBC1- and kNBC1-mediated electrogenic sodium bicarbonate cotransport function were transfected with either pNBC1 or kNBC1. Cells were grown on a permeable support to confluence, mounted in an Ussing chamber and permeabilized apically with amphotericin B. Current through the cotransporter was isolated as the difference current due to the reversible inhibitor dinitrostilbene disulfonate. The stoichiometry was calculated from the reversal potential by measuring the current-voltage relationships of the cotransporter at different Na+ concentration gradients. 4. Our data indicate that both kNBC1 and pNBC1 can exhibit either a 2:1 or 3:1 stoichiometry depending on the cell type in which each is expressed. In proximal tubule cells, both pNBC1 and kNBC1 exhibit a 3 HCO3-:1 Na+ stoichiometry, whereas in collecting duct cells, they have a 2:1 stoichiometry. These data argue against the hypothesis that the stoichiometric differences are related to the difference between the N-termini of the two proteins. Moreover, the results suggest that as yet unidentified cellular factor(s) may modify the stoichiometry of these cotransporters.