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Ion Channels

  • Angelika Böttger
  • Ute Vothknecht
  • Cordelia Bolle
  • Alexander Wolf
Chapter
Part of the Learning Materials in Biosciences book series (LMB)

Abstract

Ion channels are formed by proteins with multiple, usually six, transmembrane domains, which as homo- or hetero-oligomers form aqueous pores that allow ions to pass between the outside and the inside of the cell according to their concentration gradient. Ion channels thus conduct ion currents in response to changes in membrane voltage (voltage-gated ion channels) or after binding of ligands (ligand gated). The latter applies to neurotransmitters binding at extracellular sites and to second messengers binding at intracellular sites of the channel oligomers. In the following, we discuss how the membrane potential is maintained and explain the molecular architecture and function of several ion channels. As an example, we elucidate, how voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels work together at the neuromuscular junction and at synapses. Finally, we briefly introduce the large family of “transient receptor potential” (TRP) ion channels.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angelika Böttger
    • 1
  • Ute Vothknecht
    • 2
  • Cordelia Bolle
    • 3
  • Alexander Wolf
    • 4
  1. 1.Department Biology IILMU MunichPlanegg-MartinsriedGermany
  2. 2.IZMB-Plant Cell BiologyUniversity of BonnBonnGermany
  3. 3.Department Biology ILMU MunichPlanegg-MartinsriedGermany
  4. 4.Inst. Molecular Toxicology/PharmacologyHelmholtz Zentrum MünichNeuherbergGermany

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