Potassium (K, atomic number 19) is an alkali metal and its ions (K+) are necessary for the function of all living cells. Potassium is important in hyperpolarization of membranes during nerve transmission and in regulating a cell's osmotic balance. Potassium is transported across membranes by potassium channels and the ion pump Na+/K+-ATPase.
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Nature 546, 681-685