What are Ion Channels?
Transmembrane proteins are widely present in organisms and play important physiological functions. Its function differs significantly depending on the type of difference. It constitutes a variety of ion channels, which inputs nutrients and some inorganic electrolytes into cells, and excretes toxic or useless metabolites from cells.
Ion channels are commonly called channel proteins. Some stimuli bind to and interact with the channel proteins on the cell membrane, changing the conformation of ion channles. Conformational alteration of ion channels regulates the opening and closing of ion channels, modulating the ability of corresponding substances to enter and exit cells, thereby regulating various key physiological processes of the living system. Sometimes ion channle gating is controlled by the membrane potential. Almost all cellular processes rely on ion channels.
Ion channel function
- Substance absorption
- Osmotic pressure regulation
- Electrical impulse formation: The various sensory mechanisms of animals, such as vision, taste, smell and temperature perception, are related to changes in potential caused by ion channels.
- Signal transmission: Certain ions (Ca2+, K+, etc.) in the cytoplasm rapidly increase in concentration to form signal stimulation, further affecting downstream signaling pathways. Ion channels are the primary channel for adjusting ion concentration.
Ion channels and diseases
Ion channel genetic variation and dysfunction are associated with the development and progression of many diseases. The ion channel disease, which is well studied, mainly involves the fields of potassium, sodium, calcium and chloride channels.
Ion channels have a certain relationship with tumors. Ion channels also play a conservative role in development.
To learn more about ion channels, there may be information you want to know in this article: A Switch that Controls the Entry and Exit of Ions.
Ion channels and their correlation with nerves, cardiovasculars, immune diseases, and cancer make ion channels an important target for drug design. Different target drugs can be designed according to different types of channels.
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