Faculty Advisor

Argüello, José M.


The Na, K- ATPase is a member of the P-type ATPase family. It is responsible for maintaining the Na and K gradients across eukaryotic plasma membranes. The catalytic cycle of this enzyme has been described in great detail, but the events that occur on a molecular level to perform the energy-coupled ion transport are largely unknown. Crystallization of this protein, to study its structure, has been unsuccessful. To study the structure of this molecule, cysteine residues, introduced in structurally or functionally interesting positions can be probed with radioactive, fluorescent, or spin labeled reagents or be the target of site-directed cross-linking. In this study, I created one mutation using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method. Isoleucine 788 located in the fifth transmembrane region was replaced by cysteine. This was done in a cDNA encoding for a protein devoid of cysteines in the transmembrane region. Confirmation of this mutation was done by cDNA sequencing.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2000



Project Type

Major Qualifying Project


Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Chemistry and Biochemistry