ion channel

ion channel
A transmembrane pore that presents a hydrophilic channel for ions to cross a lipid bilayer down their electrochemical gradients. Some degree of ion specificity is usually observed, and typically a million ions per second may flow. Channels may be permanently open, like the potassium leak channel; or they may be voltage-gated, like the sodium channel; or ligand-gated like the acetylcholine receptor.

Dictionary of molecular biology. 2004.

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  • ion channel — noun Date: 1985 a cell membrane channel that is selectively permeable to certain ions (as of calcium or sodium) …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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