Journal article Open Access

Na + , K + -ATPase, a new class of plasma membrane receptors

Aperia, Anita Chatarina; Akkuratov, Evgeny E.; Fontana, Jacopo Maria; Brismar, Hjalmar

The Na+-K+-ATPase (NKA) differs from most other ion transporters, not only in its capacity to maintain a steep electrochemical gradient across the plasma membrane, but also as a receptor for a family of cardiotonic steroids, to which ouabain belongs. Studies from many groups, performed during the last 15 years, have demonstrated that ouabain, a member of the cardiotonic steroid family, can activate a network of signaling molecules, and that NKA will also serve as a signal transducer that can provide a feedback loop between NKA and the mitochondria. This brief review summarizes the current knowledge and controversies with regard to the understanding of NKA signaling.

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