7 Channel Protein Function: Facts You Should Know

Channel proteins are said to be a good arrangement for the amino acids that embeds in the membrane of the cell and provides a hydrophilic path.

The main channel protein function is to get the ions transported and the molecules of water transferred fast via the membrane. These are mostly said to be the transmembrane proteins that are in the substance movement. Proteins and these are much similar for channel protein function.

The major channel protein function is-

  • Allowing the simple transfer of water and ions
  • Allowing free flow of ions or water from one membrane to other
  • To determine the location of ions or water
  • Hold the substances back until any of the signal appear
  • To make charges that are active for transfer of ions and water
  • To move them only via the plasma membrane or not at all
  • To keep an equilibrium when needed
channel protein function
Image credit-Channel protein-Wikipedia

The channel protein function with itself embedded in the membrane and with the ions being green and in small hexagon figure that travel via the channel protein. They tend to move in an area that is of much higher concentration to an area that is much low in its concentration power. Proteins and these are much similar in terms with channel protein function being much different.

There can be many types of channel proteins with being different in its functions yet making a channel protein function. They are-

Non-Gated channel protein

The channel proteins shall exits in the state that shall stay open for any type of transport all the time being a channel protein function.

Thus for this reason and channel protein function for not being closed at all times, this is said to be the non-gated channel protein. They seem to allow the water and the ions to flow via the membrane of cell that is mostly in nature said to be hydrophobic and shall be able to resist the molecule passage.

The function for this is-

  • This type of channel protein is said to be vital for any channel protein function
  • It is needed when there is a need of water to be balanced and the ions shall need help from passage
  • Any having the passage of water linked up for ions and water to get on or out of the cell.
  • With moreover channel protein function also has a pros that to get itself open all time with the other solving channel protein function.
Image credit-Selectivity filterWikipedia

Gated channel protein function

This type of channel protein function stay closed until it is send a special signal via chemical or any electrical sign.

The proteins in this type of channel protein function are much vita; in all of the cell uses. The capacity to get an ion gated via the channel allows the electrical energy to make up in the cell. The nerve system related this signal for the gate.

The function of this are-

  • The whole of this is done by the nerve and the channel protein function reacts to it.
  • the reaction is via stating at its surface reacting to the electrical signals made by it having the ions flooded via the membrane that is kept next to it.
  • While they seem to open, the ions tend to spill and there is an electrical disturbance made. Thus makes signal via the whole body completing channel protein function.

Channel protein function

The channel protein function depends on the type of channel protein it is dealing with being either gated or non-gated.

When any of the ions gradient needs any type of maintenance the gated protein serve the role of holding it back with the ions tide up until nay of the signals are given to open it. The channel protein function in no-gated is to allowing the simple water and ion flow.

It can be said that most of the channel proteins are made up of differ subunits of proteins that are much hydrophilic in its nature and kept in center. They perform while having a gated channel to offer by having its conformation changed after getting nay type of signal for the channel protein function. The non-fated ones are made by subunits that are identical.

Image credit-IonWikipedia

Proteins are said to be substances that are high in complexity and are seen in all of the living materials available. The channel protein function is to get itself interested in the function of the substance to get moved for its exit and entry in the cell. Any number of channel protein function has its own shape and also size excluding few specific ones.

Channel protein function in cell membrane

The channel protein seems to span the membrane and then make the tunnels hydrophilic across the membranes.

To get into allowing of the membrane the channel protein function is to be much selective as they can be and trying to accept the only on molecule type that shall be able to transport. The channel protein function is to act as a bridge for transferring of the materials.

Protein anyhow is said to be a macromolecule that is made up amino acids that are 20 differently in number and uses and that helps in getting the sequence of the chain separate determining the shape and channel protein function being specific to that of the protein with channel protein function being to separate.

Image credit-CellWikipedia

The membrane that channel protein function uses are mostly thin with phospholipid layer that shall have substances to get across the cell in or out. Most of the membranes from channel protein function are semi permeable that is they allow only specific objects to leave and enter the cell area with other having no permit.

Function of channel protein in cell membrane

The very channel protein function is to get the molecules transported via the membrane in a channel protein that is called to be a carrier mediated one.

Each of the molecule tend to have a specific protein type that shall be able to use the proteins. The first type does not need any energy to move the substance across the membrane. This is called the facilitated fission with no energy needed for channel protein function.

The very channel protein function is to allow the polar or the large molecules to pass via the selectively permeable via the method of facilitated diffusion. The layer pf phospholipids tend to make the cell membrane not totally permeable with being it partial one. There are two protein types being channel and carrier. Porins are beta barrel proteins that cross a cellular membrane and act as a pore, through which molecules can diffuse.

Image credit-ProteinWikipedia

This means that the selective one prevents the polar or the large molecules and mostly many ions from passing in or even out of the cell. The transport of the proteins is thus used to move them mostly by getting them via the membrane. Thus this is the major channel protein function. These are mostly filled with water. Unlike other membrane transport proteins, porins are large enough to allow passive diffusion, i.e., they act as channels that are specific to different types of molecules

Fluid mosaic model

The fluid mosaic model explains various observations regarding the structure of functional cell membranes. The fluid mosaic model was proposed by S.J. Singer and Garth L. Nicolson.

According to the fluid mosaic model, the plasma membrane is a mosaic of components that are 3 in number—primarily, phospholipids, cholesterol, and proteins with being the one that move freely and fluidly in the plane of the membrane.

The fluid mosaic model describes cell membranes as ‘mosaics’ because the scattered pattern produced by the proteins within the phospholipid bilayer looks somewhat like a mosaic when viewed from above. This takes part for channel protein function. A semipermeable barrier essentially acts as a filter.

Image credit-Lipid BilayerWikipedia

The Fluid Mosaic Model describes the liquid-like movement of the lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates that make up the plasma membrane. These components travel freely across its surface. The four main functions of the plasma membrane include-

  • Identification
  • Communication
  • Regulation of solute exchange
  • Exchange through the membrane, and isolation of the cytoplasm from the external environment
  • Particles move from an area of higher concentration to one of lower concentration
  • This is done until equilibrium is reached as a channel protein function
  • In osmosis, a semipermeable membrane is present, so only the solvent molecules are free to move to equalize concentration.

Function of channel protein in fluid mosaic model

The model of fluid mosaic is set to describe the cell membrane as the collection of many molecules that seem to be moving at rates.

The movement of this denotes the channel protein function with helping the cell to move and maintain its function as acting to a barrier that is more in constant movement with being out of the cell and its surrounding. The channel protein function here is to move the particle in cell.

The channel protein function is to get the large molecules transferred like that of glucose across the membrane of cell. They do have areas that are called to be non polar or polar area that shall correspond with the polarity range of the layer for the phospholipids being channel protein function.

Image credit-Fluid mosaic model-Wikipedia

The two types of proteins are called to be the integral proteins with only few being of the category. The channel protein function that is considered to be vital is the capacity of it to allow the bigger or polar molecule to pass across the cell membranes that get no permission from the bilayer acting as gate making it easy as channel protein function.

Role of channel proteins in facilitated diffusion

A channel protein, a type of transport protein, acts like a pore in the membrane that lets water molecules or small ions through quick for channel protein function.

Water channel proteins also called to be aquaporins allow water to diffuse across the membrane at a very fast rate. Ion channel proteins allow ions to diffuse across the membrane. Facilitated diffusion is the passive movement of molecules across the cell membrane via the aid of a protein as channel protein function.

Channel proteins span the membrane and make hydrophilic tunnels across it, allowing their target molecules to pass through by diffusion. Channels are very selective and will accept only one type of molecule as channel protein function through which molecules can diffuse porins are large enough to allow passive diffusion.

Image credit-Facilitated diffusionWikipedia

The protein is imbedded in the cell membrane and covers the entire membrane as channel protein function. The difference in the function of carrier protein and channel protein function are-

Carrier Proteins with respect to other

Membrane carrier proteins are important transmembrane polypeptide molecules which facilitate the movement of charged and polar molecules and ions across the lipid bilayer structure.

Carrier proteins bind specific solutes and transfer them across the lipid bilayer by undergoing conformational changes that expose the solute-binding site sequentially on one side of the membrane and then on the other. The carrier proteins facilitate diffusion of molecules across the cell membrane.

Image credit-Lipid bilayerWikipedia
  1. Integral glycoproteins which bind a solute and undergo a conformational change to translocate the solute across the membrane
  2. Carrier proteins will only bind a specific molecule via an attachment similar to an enzyme-substrate interaction
  3. Carrier proteins may move molecules against concentration gradients in the presence of ATP which means they are used in active transport
  4. Carrier proteins have a much slower rate of transport than channel protein function

Channel Proteins with respect to others

The main purpose of a channel protein is to transport the ions and water molecules quickly through the membrane.

Channel proteins are transmembrane proteins, which are involved in the movement of substance both entry and exit in the cell. There are two types of channel proteins: open channel proteins and gated channel proteins.

Image credit-ChannelWikipedia
  1. Integral lipoproteins which contain a pore via which ions may cross from one side of the membrane to the other channel protein function
  2. Channel proteins are ion-selective and may be gated to regulate the passage of ions in response to certain stimuli as channel protein function
  3. Channel proteins only move molecules along a concentration gradient that are not used in active transport
  4. Channel proteins have a much faster rate of transport than carrier proteins


The main channel protein function is to have the ions or water get passed from one membrane surface to the other and with also being much fast in the rate of getting the, transported. They are of 2 types with both mostly having the basic function criteria with differing in membrane used.


I am Ankita Chattopadhyay from Kharagpur. I have completed my BTech in Biotechnology from Amity University Kolkata. I am a Subject Matter Expert in Biotechnology and also a web content writer (freelancer). I have been keen in writing articles and also interested in Literature with having my writing published in a Biotech website and a book respectively. Along with these, I am also a Hodophile, a Cinephile and a foodie.

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