FRANCIS LEROY & OLIVIER WAUTIER, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY FRANCIS LEROY & OLIVIER WAUTIER, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Aquaporine channel. Animation of water molecules (red and white) passing through a pore (purple) in the cell membrane (across centre). The pore is a protein known as an aquaporin that is embedded in the membrane and regulates the flow of water into and out of the cell. Unlike ion channels, aquaporins help prevent ions and other dissolved substances carrying electrical charge from entering the cell, as they only allow lone water molecule or certain uncharged solutes to pass through. This helps maintain the electrochemical potential of the cell membrane.
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