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Micronutrient Information Center

A Simplified Model of the Sodium (Na+), Potassium (K+) ATPase Pump


The concentration differences between K+ and Na+ across cell membranes create an electrochemical gradient known as the membrane potential. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) provides the energy to pump 3 Na+ ions out of the cell in exchange for 2 K+ ions, thus maintaining the membrane potential.