Chemical compounds enter or leave cells mainly via membrane transport proteins, such as ion channel proteins and ATP-powered pumps (ATPases). Membrane transporters play a crucial role in various cellular functions, including intracellular homeostasis, signal transduction, cell metabolism, energy transduction and recognition process in the immune system. Voltage-gated ion channels (VGICs) are transmembrane proteins that mediate the influx of ions (Ca2+, Na+, K+) in response to membrane depolarization and, thereby initiate multiple cellular activities.
Ion channels are important molecular targets in drug development, and their modulators are an extremely successful drug class. Several marketed drugs, specifically targeting ion channels (amlodipine, zolpidem, alprazolam, repaglinide, nateglinide, etc.), have generated substantial revenues.
Life Chemicals has designed its proprietary Ion Channel Compound Libraries of structurally diverse screening compounds for discovery of novel ion channel ligands. Potential small-molecule ion channel modulators were selected by both ligand-based and receptor-based approaches.