Peripheral regulation of gastric acid secretion is initiated by the release of gastrin from the G cell. Gastrin then stimulates the cholecystokinin-B receptor on the enterochromaffin-like cell beginning a calcium signaling cascade. An exocytotic release of histamine follows with concomitant activation of a C1- current. The released histamine begins the H2-receptor mediated sequence of events in the parietal cell, which results in activation of the gastric H+/K+ - ATPase. This enzyme is the final common pathway of acid secretion. The H+/K+ - ATPase is composed of two subunits: the larger alpha-subunit couples ion transport to hydrolysis of ATP, the smaller beta-subunit is required for appropriate assembly of the holoenzyme. Both the membrane and extracytoplasmic domain contain the ion transport pathway, and therefore, this region is the target for the antisecretory drugs of the post-H2 era. The 100 kDa alpha-subunit has probably 10 membrane spanning segments with, therefore, five extracytoplasmic loops. The 35 kDA beta-subunit has a single membrane spanning segment, and most of this protein is extracytoplasmic with the six or seven N glycosylation consensus sequences occupied. Omeprazole is an acid-accumulated, acid-activated, prodrug that binds covalently to two cysteine residues at positions 813 (or 822) and 892, accessible from the acidic face of the pump. Lansoprazole binds to cys321, 813 (or 822) and 892; pantoprazole binds to cys813 and 822. The common binding site for these drugs (cys813 or 822) is responsible for the inhibition of acid transport. Covalent inhibition of the acid pump improves control of acid secretion, but since the effective half life of the inhibition in man is about 48 hr, full inhibition of acid secretion, perhaps necessary for eradication of Helicobacter pylori in combination with a single antibiotic, will require prolongation of the effect of this class of drug.