Ion channels facilitate diffusion of ions across cell membranes for such diverse purposes as neuronal signaling, muscular contraction, and fluid homeostasis. Solute transporters often utilize ionic gradients to move aqueous solutes up their concentration gradient, also fulfilling a wide variety of tasks. Recently, an increasing number of ion channel-transporter ('chansporter') complexes have been discovered. Chansporter complex formation may overcome what could otherwise be considerable spatial barriers to rapid signal integration and feedback between channels and transporters, the ions and other substrates they transport, and environmental factors to which they must respond. Here, current knowledge in this field is summarized, covering both heterologous expression structure/function findings and potential mechanisms by which chansporter complexes fulfill contrasting roles in cell signaling in vivo.
Keywords: ion channel; myo-inositol; solute transporter.
© 2017 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.