An integral membrane protein which contains a pore through which ions, water, or polar molecules permeate. For any given channel, the pore is usually very selective for the particular ion or molecule. For example, sodium (Na+) channels are very selective for Na+ over other cations.
The channel pore may be constitutively open, or it may be gated to the open state by various stimuli such as chemical ligands, voltage, temperature, or mechanical stimulation of the membrane.
Posted: Thursday, November 19, 2015 Last updated: Thursday, November 19, 2015