Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

A reduction in the extracellular concentration of potassium to 0.5 mM (low K) in Epstein-Barr (EB) virus-transformed lymphocytes caused changes in the number and activity of Na+/K+ pumps in the cell membrane, with increases in the Bmax and apparent Kd of ouabain binding, and concomitant increases in the Vmax and apparent Km of potassium (rubidium) influx. However, recovery from the effects of low K occurred more quickly than the original up-regulation. Furthermore, there were differences in the time-courses of the separate rates of recovery of the Bmax and Kd of ouabain binding after the cells were returned to normal K, the rate of recovery of the Kd being quicker than that of the Bmax, which was biphasic, with slow and fast rates of recovery. Inhibition of protein synthesis by emetine caused an increase in the rate of recovery of the Bmax of ouabain binding, but no effect on the Kd, suggesting that the slow phase of recovery of the Bmax is attributable to the synthesis and insertion of new protein, while the rapid phase of recovery is independent of protein synthesis and may represent internalization. The results suggested that during up-regulation of pump number in response to low K about 40% of the newly inserted Na+/K+ pumps are normal and the rest are abnormal. The half-time of removal of the abnormal pumps from the cell membrane during recovery from low K stress was 2.8 hr and the half-time of internalization of the normal pumps was 4.3 hr.

Original publication




Journal article


Biochem Pharmacol

Publication Date





489 - 496


Cell Line, Transformed, Herpesvirus 4, Human, Humans, Kinetics, Lymphocytes, Ouabain, Potassium, Protein Biosynthesis, Rubidium, Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase, Up-Regulation