14. Ions and Voltages

  1. Stephen R. Bolsover1,
  2. Jeremy S. Hyams2,
  3. Elizabeth A. Shephard3,
  4. Hugh A. White3 and
  5. Claudia G. Wiedemann1

Published Online: 27 JAN 2004

DOI: 10.1002/047146158X.ch14

Cell Biology: A Short Course, Second Edition

Cell Biology: A Short Course, Second Edition

How to Cite

Bolsover, S. R., Hyams, J. S., Shephard, E. A., White, H. A. and Wiedemann, C. G. (2003) Ions and Voltages, in Cell Biology: A Short Course, Second Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/047146158X.ch14

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Physiology, University College, London, UK

  2. 2

    Department of Biology, University College, London, UK

  3. 3

    Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University College, London, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 27 JAN 2004
  2. Published Print: 14 NOV 2003

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780471263937

Online ISBN: 9780471461586

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Keywords:

  • voltage;
  • potassium;
  • channel;
  • carrier;
  • gating;
  • pump

Summary

Because membranes are a barrier to the movement of ions, they can separate solutions with different ionic composition. This can set up transmembrane voltages which in turn exert a force on all the ions present. For every ion present it is possible to calculate an equilibrium voltage at which concentration and voltage forces balance. Channels are proteins that form water filled holes through membranes, while carriers change shape to allow solute across. Complex carriers can use the energy of a cellular energy currency to move solute up an electrochemical gradient.