ion channel

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i·on chan·nel

a specific macromolecular protein pathway, with an aqueous "pore," which traverses the lipid bilayer of a cell's plasma membrane and maintains or modulates the electrical potential across this barrier by allowing the controlled influx or exit of small inorganic ions such as Na+, K+, Cl-, and Ca2+. It plays an important role in propagation of the action potential in neurons, but also may control transduction of extracellular signals and contraction in muscle cells. In general, ion channels are characterized by their selectivity for certain ions, their specific regulation or gating of these ions, and their specific sensitivity to toxins.

ion channel

A pathway through a protein molecule or complex in a cell membrane that modulates the electrical potential across the membrane by controlling the passage of small inorganic ions into and out of the cell.

ion channel

A protein that spans the lipid bilayer of the cell membrane and regulates the movement of charged particles (e.g., electrolytes) into and out of cells.
See also: channel


an atom or group of atoms having a positive (cation) or negative (anion) electric charge by virtue of having gained or lost one or more electrons. Substances forming ions are electrolytes.

ion channel
see channel.
dipolar ion
hydrogen ion
the positively charged hydrogen atom (H+), present to excess in acid solutions.
ion pair
the pair of ions created when an atom has had an electron removed by ionizing radiation.
ion pump
see calcium pump, sodium pump.
ion trapping
a strategy for treatment of poisonings based on the principle that cell membranes are less permeable to ionized compounds. With knowledge of the characteristics of the toxin, treatment can be given to alter the acid-base balance in favor of ionization.
References in periodicals archive ?
In nerve cells, ion channels work with extreme precision: Sodium channels open for a fraction of a second to allow just enough sodium in to trigger a nerve impulse.
ION CHANNEL MODULATORS BY THERAPEUTIC INDICATION II-7Cardiovascular Diseases/ Hypertension II-7Select Major Anti-Hypertensive Drugs Targeting Ion Channels:2014 II-7Table 2: Global Annual Medical Cost of CVD in US$ Billion(2010-2030) (includes corresponding Graph/Chart) II-8
EMD Millipore's renowned PrecisION[R] Ion Channel cell lines are the industry standard for electrophysiology screening and profiling.
He noted that the company's research efforts to date had covered multiple ion channel classes and a broad range of therapeutic indications including cardiac arrhythmias, sickle cell anemia, asthma, epilepsy and pain.
MacKinnon originally set out to discern the molecular structure of ion channels.
We believe that the Cardiac Ion Channel Panel and our probabilistic models will greatly improve the predictivity of QT prolongation and TdP.
ChanTest is already the market leading ion channel CRO.
The discovery that the voltage sensors of the ion channel are more exposed than scientists had expected may interest those looking for drugs that influence nerve or muscle activity.
By teaming up with the ChanTest Corporation, we are able to provide our customers a complete end-to-end solution for their ion channel and GPCR assays.
Ion channels represent an important class of drug targets, and are also important because of cardiac safety risks that can result from unintended interactions between certain drugs and ion channels.
Cellectricon's unique high throughput microfluidic screening platform allows us to further develop our leading platform for ion channel screening.
In this way, these so-called ion channels govern the electrical excitability of cells that make the heart beat.