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Ion channel modulators

Ion channels are pore-forming membrane proteins which allow the passage of ions in and out of a cell through the plasma membrane, with hundreds of different types of ion channel being identified in the membranes of all biological cells.  Ion channels can be classified by different properties, including by the gating mechanism or the ion selectivity of the pore.  Ion channels classified by gating mechanism include voltage-gated ion channels, ligand-gated ion channels, light-gated ion channels, mechanosensitive ion channels, cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channels, calcium-gated ion channels and ions classified by ion selectivity include calcium, potassium, sodium, chloride, protons and non-selective.  Ion channels are essential for life and play a fundamental role in physiological processes such as muscle contraction and nutrient transport.  A multitude of diseases result from the disruption of normal ion channel function. 

Further reading

Camerino et al (2007) Ion channel pharmacology. Neurotherapeutics 4 184 PMID: 17395128

Alexander et al (2011) Guide to Receptors and Channels (GRAC), 5th edition. Br J Pharmacol. 64 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S1 PMID: 22040146

Kadir et al (2018) Emerging Roles of the Membrane Potential: Action Beyond the Action Potential. Front Physiol. 9 1661 PMID: 30519193



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