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Front Physiol. 2016 May 25;7:179. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2016.00179. eCollection 2016.

Specialized Functional Diversity and Interactions of the Na,K-ATPase.

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Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University Aarhus, Denmark.
Department of General Physiology, St. Petersburg State University St. Petersburg, Russia.


Na,K-ATPase is a protein ubiquitously expressed in the plasma membrane of all animal cells and vitally essential for their functions. A specialized functional diversity of the Na,K-ATPase isozymes is provided by molecular heterogeneity, distinct subcellular localizations, and functional interactions with molecular environment. Studies over the last decades clearly demonstrated complex and isoform-specific reciprocal functional interactions between the Na,K-ATPase and neighboring proteins and lipids. These interactions are enabled by a spatially restricted ion homeostasis, direct protein-protein/lipid interactions, and protein kinase signaling pathways. In addition to its "classical" function in ion translocation, the Na,K-ATPase is now considered as one of the most important signaling molecules in neuronal, epithelial, skeletal, cardiac and vascular tissues. Accordingly, the Na,K-ATPase forms specialized sub-cellular multimolecular microdomains which act as receptors to circulating endogenous cardiotonic steroids (CTS) triggering a number of signaling pathways. Changes in these endogenous cardiotonic steroid levels and initiated signaling responses have significant adaptive values for tissues and whole organisms under numerous physiological and pathophysiological conditions. This review discusses recent progress in the studies of functional interactions between the Na,K-ATPase and molecular microenvironment, the Na,K-ATPase-dependent signaling pathways and their significance for diversity of cell function.


K-ATPase molecular heterogeneity; Na; blood pressure; cardiotonic steroids; cell survival; signaling pathways; subcellular microdomains

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