Direct ion channel gating: A new function for intracellular messengers

Philip E. Hockberger*, Dieter Swandulla

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


1. There is widespread belief that intracellular messengers [e.g., Ca2+, cyclic AMP, cyclic GMP, inositol-1,4,5-triphosphate (IP3)] assert their actions primarily through activation of protein kinases. 2. In studies of excitable cells protein kinase activation has been shown to alter membrane ionic conductance, presumably through phosphorylation of ion channels (see Levitan, 1985). However, recent reports from several laboratories indicate that intracellular messengers can also affect membrane ionic conductances directly without invoking protein kinase activation. 3. In this article we examine those examples of direct activation of ionic conductances by intracellular messengers which are supported by single-channel studies of isolated membrane patches. The list of cell types displaying this kind of response is growing and includes cells of neuronal as well as nonneuronal origin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-236
Number of pages8
JournalCellular and molecular neurobiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1987


  • calcium ions
  • channel gating
  • cyclic AMP
  • cyclic GMP
  • patch clamp
  • second messengers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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