AAT Bioquest

What are the steps of the sodium-potassium pump cycle?

Posted September 15, 2023


There are six main steps involved in the sodium-potassium pump cycle. 

  1. Binding of 3 sodium ions from the cytoplasm to the intracellular sites on the sodium-potassium pump. 
  2. A phosphate group is transferred to the pump through the hydrolysis of ATP. 
  3. The pump goes through a conformational change, creating an opening towards the exterior of the cell transporting sodium across the membrane.
  4. The conformational change exposes 2 potassium binding sites for 2 potassium ions to be picked up on the extracellular surface of the pump.
  5. The phosphate group is cleaved off and the pump shifts back to its original shape.
  6. The potassium is then released inside the cell, completing ion exchange.
Additional resources

Sodium-Potassium Pump

Cell/Cytoplasmic Membrane Potential Activity & Analysis

Screen Quest™ Membrane Potential Assay Kit *Orange Fluorescence*