Ion channel linked receptors

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Ion channel linked receptors are cell membrane bound receptors. They act through synaptic signaling on electrically excitable cells. The ion channels opening and closing is controlled by neurotransmitters.

Ion-channel-linked receptors are also called ligand-gated channels. These membrane-spanning proteins undergo a conformational change when a ligand binds to them so that a "tunnel" is opened through the membrane to allow the passage of a specific molecule. These ligands can be neurotransmitters or peptide hormones, and the molecules that pass through are often ions, such as sodium (Na+) or potassium (K+), which can alter the charge across the membrane. The ion channels, or pores, are opened only for a short time, after which the ligand dissociates from the receptor and the receptor is available once again for a new ligand to bind.

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