Phosphorylation states of the (Na+ + K+)-transporting ATPase were studied in highly purified preparations isolated from electric-eel electric organ and from lamb kidney. The steady-state level of phosphorylated lamb kidney enzyme, obtained by reaction with [gamma-32P]ATP, was not appreciably reduced in the presence of ADP unless oligomycin was present. The phosphorylated form of the electric-eel electric-organ enzyme was reduced by at least 95% under the same conditions, suggesting that the E1P state in the kidney enzyme is more transitory than that in electric organ. The level of phosphorylation from [32P]Pi was higher in the lamb kidney preparation than in the electric-organ preparation, and the difference in stimulation of phosphorylation by ouabain in the two preparations was striking. Ouabain increased the level of phosphorylation by 35% in the kidney preparation and 734% in the electric-organ preparation. The E2P state seems to be stabilized by ouabain in the latter preparation. These findings, as well as the different reactivities of the thiol groups to blocking reagents in these preparations, suggest that the tertiary structure in the enzyme isolated from these two sources is different.

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