Channel modulator

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A channel modulator, or ion channel modulator, is a type of drug which modulates ion channels. They include channel blockers and channel openers.[1]

Direct modulators[edit]

Ion channels are typically categorised by gating mechanism and by the ion they conduct. Note that an ion channel may overlap between different categories. Some channels conduct multiple ion currents and some are gated by multiple mechanisms.

Examples of targets for modulators include:

Voltage-gated ion channels

Ligand gated ion channels

Ion channels gated by other mechanisms (e.g. light gated and mechanosensitive ion channels). These types of channels can also be pharmacologically modulated. For lists of the substances that pharmacologically modulate them, see their respective articles.

Indirect modulators[edit]

Ion channels can also be modulated indirectly. For example with G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), for G protein coupled inward rectifier potassium channels (GIRKs) and M channels. Ion channels can also be modulated by reuptake inhibitors and releasing agents.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Birch, PJ; Dekker, LV; James, IF; Southan, A; Cronk, D (1 May 2004). "Strategies to identify ion channel modulators: current and novel approaches to target neuropathic pain". Drug Discovery Today. 9 (9): 410–8. doi:10.1016/S1359-6446(04)03043-0. PMID 15081958.