The Textbook of Ion Channels is a set of three volumes providing a wide-ranging reference source on ion channels for students, instructors and researchers. Ion channels are membrane proteins that control the electrical properties of neurons and cardiac cells; mediate the detection and response to sensory stimuli like light, sound, odor, and taste; and regulate the response to physical stimuli like temperature and pressure. In non-excitable tissues, ion channels are instrumental for the regulation of basic salt balance that is critical for homeostasis. Ion channels are located at the surface membrane of cells, giving them the unique ability to communicate with the environment, as well as the membrane of intracellular organelles, allowing them to regulate internal homeostasis. Ion channels are fundamentally important for human health and diseases, and are important targets for pharmaceuticals in mental illness, heart disease, anesthesia, pain and other clinical applications. The modern methods used in their study are powerful and diverse, ranging from single ion-channel measurement techniques to models of ion channel diseases in animals, and human clinical trials for ion channel drugs.
Volume I, Part 1 covers fundamental topics such as the basic principles of ion permeation and selectivity, voltage-dependent, ligand-dependent, and mechano-dependent ion channel activation mechanisms, the mechanisms for ion channel desensitization and inactivation, and basic ion channel pharmacology and inhibition. Volume I, Part 2 offers a practical guide of cardinal methods for researching ion channels, including heterologous expression and voltage-clamp and patch-clamp electrophysiology; isolation of native currents using patch clamping; modeling ion channel gating, structures, and its dynamics; crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy; fluorescence and paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy methods; and genetics approaches in model organisms.
All three volumes give the reader an introduction to fundamental concepts needed to understand the mechanism of ion channels; a guide to the technical aspects of ion channel research; a modern guide to the properties of major ion channel families; and includes coverage of key examples of regulatory, physiological and disease roles for ion channels.