Tight junctions are crucial for maintaining the polarity and vectorial transport functions of epithelial cells. We and others have shown that Na-K-ATPase plays a key role in the organization and permeability of tight junctions in mammalian cells and analogous septate junctions in Drosophila. However, the mechanism by which Na-K-ATPase modulates tight junctions is not known. In this study, using a well-differentiated human pancreatic epithelial cell line HPAF-II, we demonstrate that Na-K-ATPase is present at the apical junctions and forms a complex with protein phosphatase-2A, a protein known to be present at tight junctions. Inhibition of Na-K-ATPase ion transport function reduced protein phosphatase-2A activity, hyperphosphorylated occludin, induced rearrangement of tight junction strands, and increased permeability of tight junctions to ionic and nonionic solutes. These data suggest that Na-K-ATPase is required for controlling the tight junction gate function.