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Chloride channel

German: Chloridkanal

1 Definition

Chlorid channels are Ionchannels of the cell membrane, as well as the membrane of some intracellular organelles, that are capable of conducting negatively charged ions (anions) across the membrane.

2 Background

Chloride channels are transmembrane proteins of the cell or cell organelles that - just like other ion channels - can be either voltage sensitive or not. Although anions such as iodine (iodide is the ionic form I-) or nitrate (NO3-) can pass better through the pore of the chloride channel than chloride itself, the name chloride channel is used because chloride is present in much greater quantities within the human body.

3 Function

Passage of anions through the chloride channels occur passively by diffusion. Chloride channels have various functions, e.g.

Depending on the type of chloride channel, its activation (i.e the opening or closing of the channel's pore) is controlled by various factors. The voltage sensitive chloride channels respond to the membrane potential. Other chloride channels respond to an increase in the cell's volume, to the concentration of H+ ions (pH value), to the concentration of calcium ions, to the binding of ATP or to the hydrolysis of ATP, to a specific ligand (this is the case for glycine and GABA receptors), or to the phosphorylation of specific intracellular residues.

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