LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Aquaporin membrane protein, molecular model. Aquaporins are membrane proteins that form channels (lower right) that help water molecules pass in and out of cells. Unlike ion channels, aquaporins help prevent ions and other dissolved substances carrying electrical charge from entering the cell, as they only allow lone water molecules or certain uncharged solutes to pass through. This helps maintain the electrochemical potential of the cell membrane. This example is from the bacterial plant pathogen Agrobacterium tumefaciens.
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