AAT Bioquest

What are the types of channel proteins?

Posted September 13, 2022


There are two types of channel proteins – Non-gated channel proteins and gated channel proteins. 


Non-gated channel proteins remain open all the time and are always available for transporting molecules. They offer unhindered passage to ions and water through the cell membrane without any resistance and are also known as leak channels. The constant passage of ions and water in and out of the cell helps to maintain the balance of water and ions in the cell. For example, they play an integral role in helping to establish the resting voltage of the cell neurons. 

Non-gated channel proteins are less common as it allows for less regulation of what substances pass through the membrane. 

Gated channel proteins

Gated channel proteins are structurally and functionally different from non-gated proteins. They play a critical role in several cellular functions. 

Gated channel proteins remain closed at all times, which allows electrical energy to build up inside the cell. These channel proteins open and allow the passage of substances only after receiving specific stimuli from the environment. On receiving the right signal, gated channel proteins react by opening up and allowing the ions to pass through the cell membrane, passing a signal through the body very quickly.

Additional resources

Ion channel-transporter interactions

Intracellular Ions


Intracellular Ion Assay Kits