Ion channel facts for kids
Ion channels are pore-forming proteins that help to establish and control the small voltage gradient across the plasma membrane of all living cells (see resting potential) by allowing the flow of ions down their electrochemical gradient. They are present in the membranes that surround all biological cells.
An ion channel is an integral membrane protein or more typically an assembly of several proteins.
Images for kids
Schematic diagram of an ion channel. 1 - channel domains (typically four per channel), 2 - outer vestibule, 3 - selectivity filter, 4 - diameter of selectivity filter, 5 - phosphorylation site, 6 - cell membrane.
Birth of an Idea (2007) by Julian Voss-Andreae. The sculpture was commissioned by Roderick MacKinnon based on the molecule's atomic coordinates that were determined by MacKinnon's group in 2001.
Ion channel Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.