Non-conducting functions of voltage-gated ion channels

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2006 Oct;7(10):761-71. doi: 10.1038/nrn1988.


Various studies, mostly in the past 5 years, have demonstrated that, in addition to their well-described function in regulating electrical excitability, voltage-dependent ion channels participate in intracellular signalling pathways. Channels can directly activate enzymes linked to cellular signalling pathways, serve as cell adhesion molecules or components of the cytoskeleton, and their activity can alter the expression of specific genes. Here, I review these findings and discuss the extent to which the molecular mechanisms of such signalling are understood.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism
  • Cell Physiological Phenomena*
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Ion Channels / classification*
  • Ion Channels / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Ion Channels