ion channel


: a cell membrane channel that is selectively permeable to certain ions (as of calcium or sodium)

Examples of ion channel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Sydney Funnel Web Spider Bite Sydney Funnel Web Spider Bite Sydney funnel web spider venom contains a compound known as atracotoxin, a highly toxic ion channel inhibitor. Tim MacWelch, Outdoor Life, 3 May 2023 Nobody should be starting to eat ion channel blockers. IEEE Spectrum, 23 May 2023 As a result, more functional ion channel protein gets made than would otherwise happen. Elie Dolgin, Discover Magazine, 26 Apr. 2023 Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in March, for example, suggested that even canonical lock-and-key ion channel receptors might not be as strictly selective as scientists thought. Jordana Cepelewicz, Wired, 27 June 2021 But the brain’s skinniest neurons sometimes send out random spikes triggered by ion channel proteins’ popping open accidentally. Douglas Fox, Discover Magazine, 19 Aug. 2014 This battery of pain takes place because CS gas targets an ion channel called TRPA1, located on the sensory nerve endings of the skin and respiratory tract. Alex Orlando, Discover Magazine, 4 June 2020 David Julius identified the heat-sensing ion channel TRPV1, while Ardem Patapoutian found the touch-sensitive Piezo channels. Brian Owens, Discover Magazine, 14 Oct. 2021 Whether an ion channel is open or closed is context dependent. Gabriel A. Silva, Forbes, 2 Aug. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ion channel.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1964, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ion channel was in 1964

Dictionary Entries Near ion channel

Cite this Entry

“Ion channel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Medical Definition

ion channel

: a cell membrane channel that is selectively permeable to certain ions (such as of calcium or sodium)
Researchers now know that not only do all cells, including nerve cells, have ion channels through which substances such as sodium and calcium move in and out, but that particular subtypes of sodium channels govern the transmission of pain.Judy Foreman, The Los Angeles Times
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