Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 183–200 | Cite as

Divalent cations and the phosphatase activity of the (Na + K)-dependent ATPase

  • Joseph D. Robinson
Research Articles


Phosphatase activity of a kidney (Na + K)-ATPase preparation was optimally active with Mg2+ plus K+. Mn2+ was less effective and Ca2+ could not substitute for Mg2+. However, adding Ca2+ with Mg2+ or substituting Mn2+ for Mg2+ activated it appreciably in the absence of added K+, and all three divalent cations decreased apparent affinity for K+. Inhibition by Na+ decreased with higher Mg2+ concentrations, when Ca2+ was added, and when Mn2+ was substituted for Mg2+. Dimethyl sulfoxide, which favorsE2 conformations of the enzyme, increased apparent affinity for K+, whereas oligomycin, which favorsE1 conformations, decreased it. These observations are interpretable in terms of activation through two classes of cation sites. (i) At divalent cation sites, Mg2+ and Mn2+, favoring (under these conditions)E2 conformations, are effective, whereas Ca2+, favoringE1, is not, and monovalent cations complete. (ii) At monovalent cation sites divalent cations compete with K+, and although Ca2+ and Mn2+ are fairly effective, Mg2+ is a poor substitute for K+, while Na+ at these sites favorsE1 conformations. K+ increases theK m for substrate, but both Ca2+ and Mn2+ decrease it, perhaps by competing with K+. On the other hand, phosphatase activity in the presence of Na+ plus K+ is stimulated by dimethyl sulfoxide, by higher concentrations of Mg2+ and Mn2+, but not by adding Ca2+; this is consistent with stimulation occurring through facilitation of an E1 to E2 transition, perhaps an E1-P to E2-P step like that in the (Na + K)-ATPase reaction sequence. However, oligomycin stimulates phosphatase activity with Mg2+ plus Na+ alone or Mg2+ plus Na+ plus low K+: this effect of oligomycin may reflect acceleration, in the absence of adequate K+, of an alternative E2-P to E1 pathway bypassing the monovalent cation-activated steps in the hydrolytic sequence.

Key words

(Na + K)-ATPase phosphatase calcium magnesium manganese oligomycin dimethyl sulfoxide 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph D. Robinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyState University of New York, Upstate Medical CenterSyracuse

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