AAT Bioquest

What role does the sodium pump play in the cell membrane?

Posted September 15, 2023


The sodium-potassium pump is found in the cell membrane of almost every human cell. It helps to maintain membrane resting potential and regulate cellular volume. The sodium-potassium pump pumps sodium and potassium ions against their concentration gradients in order to regulate membrane resting potential. It moves potassium cells into the cell where levels are high and subsequently pumps 3 sodium ions out of the cell into the extracellular fluid. This leads to significant differences in the concentration of ions on the outside and inside of the cell. These differences in concentration are necessary for the communication and transport in and out of the cell of nutrients and compounds and for regulation of the cell’s volume and pH. Without proper function of the pump, it may lead to severe neurological conditions such as muscle spasms, or unilateral paralysis.

Additional resources

Active transport

Cell/Cytoplasmic Membrane Potential Activity & Analysis

Screen Quest™ Membrane Potential Assay Kit *Orange Fluorescence*