JACOPIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JACOPIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Voltage-dependent ion channel. The fixation of a particular molecule (represented by the key) on the membranous protein-canal causes a conformational change of the latter (see. This leads to the opening of the channel, that leaves the ions penetrate into the cell. Here, representation of a chemoreceptor containing a sodium channel. The massive entrance of sodium ions causes a voltage difference between the outside (at the top) and the inside of the cell, creating a depolarization and thereby an electrical current. The chemical signal (ions Na+) has been transformed into an electric signal (nerve impulse).
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