We have characterized the kinetics of substrate transport in the renal type IIa human sodium-phosphate cotransporter (NaPi-IIa). The transporter was expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes, and steady-state and pre-steady-state currents and substrate uptakes were characterized by voltage-clamp and isotope flux. First, by measuring simultaneous uptake of a substrate (32Pi, 22Na) and charge in voltage-clamped oocytes, we established that the human NaPi-IIa isoform operates with a Na:Pi:charge stoichiometry of 3:1:1 and that the preferred transported Pi species is HPO4(2-). We then probed the complex interrelationship of substrates, pH, and voltage in the NaPi-IIa transport cycle by analyzing both steady-state and pre-steady-state currents. Steady-state current measurements show that the apparent HPO4(2-) affinity is voltage dependent and that this voltage dependency is abrogated by lowering the pH or the Na+ concentration. In contrast, the voltage dependency of the apparent Na+ affinity increased when pH was lowered. Pre-steady-state current analysis shows that Na+ ions bind first and influence the preferred orientation of the transporter in the absence of Pi. Pre-steady-state charge movement was partially suppressed by complete removal of Na+ from the bath, by reducing extracellular pH (both in the presence and absence of Na+), or by adding Pi (in the presence of 100 mM Na). None of these conditions suppressed charge movement completely. The results allowed us to modify previous models for the transport cycle of NaPi-II transporters by including voltage dependency of HPO4(2-) binding and proton modulation of the first Na+ binding step.