Nonselective cation channels in plants

Annu Rev Plant Biol. 2002;53:67-107. doi: 10.1146/annurev.arplant.53.091901.161540.


Nonselective cation channels are a diverse group of ion channels characterized by their low discrimination between many essential and toxic cations. They are ubiquitous in plant tissues and are active in the plasma membrane, tonoplast, and other endomembranes. Members of this group are likely to function in low-affinity nutrient uptake, in distribution of cations within and between cells, and as plant Ca2+ channels. They are gated by diverse mechanisms, which can include voltage, cyclic nucleotides, glutamate, reactive oxygen species, and stretch. These channels dominate tonoplast cation transport, and the selectivity and gating mechanisms of tonoplast nonselective cation channels are comprehensively reviewed here. This review presents the first classification of plant nonselective cation channels and the first full description of nonselective cation channel candidate sequences in the Arabidopsis genome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Cations
  • Ion Channels / chemistry
  • Ion Channels / metabolism
  • Ion Channels / physiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena*
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Subcellular Fractions / metabolism


  • Cations
  • Ion Channels