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Definition: Pores in the plasma membrane created by transmembrane proteins that open or close in response to a specific signal, such as binding of a chemical (chemically gated), a change in membrane potential (voltage-gated), or a membrane distortion (mechanically gated). When open, these channels allow ions and water to move through the plasma membrane by diffusion.
Source: Hickman, C.P., et al. 2011. Integrated Principles of Zoology. Fifteenth Edition. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.