Role of ion channels and transporters in cell migration

Physiol Rev. 2012 Oct;92(4):1865-913. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00018.2011.


Cell motility is central to tissue homeostasis in health and disease, and there is hardly any cell in the body that is not motile at a given point in its life cycle. Important physiological processes intimately related to the ability of the respective cells to migrate include embryogenesis, immune defense, angiogenesis, and wound healing. On the other side, migration is associated with life-threatening pathologies such as tumor metastases and atherosclerosis. Research from the last ≈ 15 years revealed that ion channels and transporters are indispensable components of the cellular migration apparatus. After presenting general principles by which transport proteins affect cell migration, we will discuss systematically the role of channels and transporters involved in cell migration.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Ion Channels / metabolism*
  • Ion Transport / physiology*
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism*


  • Ion Channels
  • Membrane Transport Proteins