Regulation of Na+/K+ ATPase transport velocity by RNA editing. Academic Article uri icon


  • Because firing properties and metabolic rates vary widely, neurons require different transport rates from their Na(+)/K(+) pumps in order to maintain ion homeostasis. In this study we show that Na(+)/K(+) pump activity is tightly regulated by a novel process, RNA editing. Three codons within the squid Na(+)/K(+) ATPase gene can be recoded at the RNA level, and the efficiency of conversion for each varies dramatically, and independently, between tissues. At one site, a highly conserved isoleucine in the seventh transmembrane span can be converted to a valine, a change that shifts the pump's intrinsic voltage dependence. Mechanistically, the removal of a single methyl group specifically targets the process of Na(+) release to the extracellular solution, causing a higher turnover rate at the resting membrane potential.

publication date

  • November 23, 2010