Ion channel linked receptors

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1. Ion channel linked receptor
2. Ions
3. Ligand (such as acetylcholine)
When ligands bind to the receptor, the ion channel portion of the receptor opens, allowing ions to pass across the cell membrane.

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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