Cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channels: an extended family with diverse functions

Annu Rev Physiol. 1996:58:395-426. doi: 10.1146/


An ion channel directly activated by cGMP was first discovered about ten years ago. Since then, a number of ion channels with the same property (cyclic nucleotide-activated channels) have been reported that are involved in a variety of cell functions. In addition, other channels have been found that are not primarily controlled by cyclic nucleotides but are modulated by them (cyclic nucleotide-modulated channels). These channels likewise have diverse functions and tissue distributions. Both channel classes are reviewed here. Coverage includes the cyclic-nucleotide binding site on these channels, ion permeation, pharmacological blockers, channel gating and modulation, and physiological functions of the channels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cyclic AMP / physiology*
  • Cyclic GMP / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Ion Channel Gating / physiology*
  • Ion Channels / physiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data


  • Ion Channels
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Cyclic GMP