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Mol Chem Neuropathol. 1993 May-Jun;19(1-2):83-93.

Functional activity of Na+,K(+)-pump in normal and pathological tissues.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, School of Biology, Moscow State University, Russia.


Na+,K(+)-ATPase, supporting the ionic homeostasis of the cell, is under control of Na+, K+, Mg2+, and ATP. The regulating effect of Mg2+ is rather unclear, whereas the Na+/K+ ratio in the cytoplasm is a potent regulatory factor, especially for osmotic balance in excitable cells. We have demonstrated two possibilities for regulation of ion pumping activity: First, via the number of Na+,K(+)-ATPase molecules under operation, and second, via changes in the turnover rate of the active molecules. In the presence of low ATP concentration, which is typical for cells with membrane damage (ischemic cardiac myocytes, tumor cells, fatigued muscles) Na+,K(+)-ATPase is transformed to a regime of the decreased efficiency. Radiation inactivation study demonstrates the weakening of the interprotein interactions in the enzyme complexes during ATP deficiency. Thus, measurements of ATPase activity of the purified enzyme under optimal conditions in vitro may be useless for the discrimination of pathological from normal tissues. In such a case, the estimation of lipid composition and microviscosity of the membranes under study could be important. This review briefly discusses several basic mechanisms of the regulation of Na+,K(+)-ATPase--an integral protein of the outer cell membranes.

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