Voltage-Dependent Ionic Channels: “Whole-Cell” Recording by Patch-Clamp Techniques

  • José López-Barneo


Ionic channels are integral membrane proteins that mediate the passive flux of ions across the cell membrane. This family of proteins is broadly distributed, from procaryotes to mammals, and participates in a number of cell functions including electrical signalling, secretion, motility, and growth and proliferation. Most known ionic channels are gatable, i.e. they can change their three-dimensional structure and adopt an open or a closed state. Ions only diffuse through open channels and thus channel activation results in the generation of transmembrane ionic currents. What induces ionic channels to change their conformation is either the binding of a ligand (as for example in the acetylcholine receptor) or a change in the membrane potential. Channels activated by the second mechanism are the “voltage-dependent” channels which have charged domains in their molecule that sense the variations in the transmembrane electric field.


Carotid Body Calcium Current Potassium Current Sodium Current Tail Current 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • José López-Barneo
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Fisiología y Biofísica, Facultad de MedicinaUniversidad de SevillaSevillaSpain

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