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Cell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics

  Photograph of Dr. Pressley    

Thomas A. Pressley

Professor of Medical Education and Physiology

Ph.D., Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, 1981
  Full Curriculum Vitae
Department of Medical Education
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
3601 4th Street
Lubbock, Texas 79430
Phone: (806) 743-2607
FAX: (806) 743-1512

    Molecular Biology of Membrane Transporters
     Since the early part of this century, physiologists have known that the interior of most animal cells is enriched in K+ and depleted in Na+ relative to the extracellular fluid. This distribution of ions is produced by the Na,K-pump (i.e., Na,K-ATPase), an intrinsic membrane protein complex that extrudes Na+ from the cell and absorbs K+ from the exterior at the expense of metabolic energy. Its turnover and the resulting ionic gradients are responsible for the potential difference across the cell membrane and indirectly control ionic balance, cellular volume, and epithelial transport. My interests focus on the function and regulation of the pump and related transporters.
Model of Na,K-ATPase
Multimeric structure of the Na,K-ATPase complex, consisting of a catalytic alpha subunit and a glycosylated beta subunit.