What are the most important information that we need to know about Sodium Potassium pump?
The Sodium Potassium pump is a type of active transport because it requires ATP. It forces molecules to move from low to high concentration. Because it is forcing molecules to move against the concentration gradient, it requires energy to make it happen.
The pump moves sodium (Na+) ions out of the cell and potassium ions (K+) into the cell. The pump moves 3 Na+ out of the cell for every 2 K+ inside the cell. 3 sodium (Na+) molecules bind to a protein carrier. Then 1 molecule of ATP is split and the phosphate from the ATP binds to the carrier protein. As a result the protein changes shape, releasing the sodium to the other side of the membrane to the outside of the cell. Potassium (K+) ions from the inside of the cell will then bind to the carrier protein. At this point the phosphate molecule releases, which allows 2 K+ into the cell.
An electrical gradient is created across the cell because of uneven movement of charges. Nerve impulses use the sodium potassium pump to send signals.