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Definition: Pores created by transmembrane proteins that allow ions and water to move through plasma membranes by diffusion. They may be open at all times or gated by specific signals to open or to close them (for example, chemically-gated or voltage-gated channels).
Source: Hickman, C.P., et al. 2011. Integrated Principles of Zoology. Fifteenth Edition. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.