How does this work?
There is a high concentration of K+ outside the cell but low inside and a high concentration of Na+ inside but low outside. The cell has to work against this gradient to get K+ in and Na+ out.
- 3Na+ molecules enter pump
- ATP attaches phosphate on protein pump and becomes ADP
- Pump changes shape
- 3Na+ released outside cell, 2K+ molecules enter pump
- Pump senses this, causing phosphate ion to detach from pump
- With phosphate gone, pump goes back to original shape
- 2K+ enter cell
My teacher use to say salty banana. Na reminds u of salt and K reminds u of banana. Na is pumped outside and K is pumped inside to maintain the gradients.