Multiple functions of Na,K-ATPase in epithelial cells

Semin Nephrol. 2005 Sep;25(5):328-34. doi: 10.1016/j.semnephrol.2005.03.008.


The Na,K-adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase), or sodium pump, has been well studied for its role in the regulation of ion homeostasis in mammalian cells. Recent studies suggest that Na,K-ATPase might have multiple functions such as a role in the regulation of tight junction structure and function, induction of polarity, regulation of actin dynamics, control of cell movement, and cell signaling. These functions appear to be modulated by Na,K-ATPase enzyme activity as well as protein-protein interactions of the alpha and beta subunits. In this review we attempt to differentiate functions associated with enzyme activity and subunit interactions. In addition, the consequence of impaired Na,K-ATPase function or reduced subunit expression levels in kidney diseases such as cancer, tubulointerstitial fibrosis, and ischemic nephropathy are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane Permeability / physiology
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology
  • Epithelial Cells / enzymology*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / cytology
  • Kidney Diseases / metabolism
  • Kidney Diseases / physiopathology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / metabolism
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / physiology*
  • Stress Fibers / enzymology


  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase