Ion channels control many essential cellular functions, including chemical signalling, regulation of pH, transcellular transport and regulation of cell volume. The abnormal function of ion channels can cause various diseases, also called channelopathies. The number of diseases related to ion channel malfunction is increasing, and so are the amount of potential drugable ion channel targets.
Ion channels cause a wide range of diseases
Examples of channelopathies are cystic fibrosis (CFTRT, TMEM16) and epilepsy (Kv7.2/KCNQ2). Still, ion channels are involved in diseases in many areas, such as cardiac, genitourinary, metabolic, gastrointestinal, stroke, pain/inflammation, psychiatric disorders, pulmonary/respiratory and seizures/convulsions. Also, more and more evidence shows that ion channels could also be a relevant target for cancer treatments.