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Integral membrane protein that upon activation, such as by a ligand, allows charged particles to flow across the membrane.
Also known as channel-linked or ionotropic receptors, ion channel receptors are lipid bilayer-spanning receptor proteins that, upon signal reception, open up a membrane-spanning channel that allows specific ions through. These ions most notably include potassium ions (K+), sodium ions (Na+), and calcium ions (Ca2+).
Ion gated channels have the utility of essentially releasing a second messenger directly into cytoplasm where it can rapidly diffuse and directly effect a response.
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