Module 3: The Cellular Level of Organization

Lesson 3: The Cytoplasm and Cellular Organelles

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Nội dung bài học:
Mỗi bài học (lesson) bao gồm 4 phần chính: Thuật ngữ, Luyện Đọc, Luyện Nghe, và Bàn Luận.
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Dưới đây là danh sách những thuật ngữ Y khoa của module The Cellular Level of Organization.
Khái quát được số lượng thuật ngữ sẽ xuất hiện trong bài đọc và nghe sẽ giúp bạn thoải mái tiêu thụ nội dung hơn. Sau khi hoàn thành nội dung đọc và nghe, bạn hãy quay lại đây và luyện tập (practice) để quen dần các thuật ngữ này. Đừng ép bản thân phải nhớ các thuật ngữ này vội vì bạn sẽ gặp và ôn lại danh sách này trong những bài học (lesson) khác của cùng một module.

Medical Terminology: The Cellular Level of Organization

active transport
form of transport across the cell membrane that requires input of cellular energy
describes a molecule that exhibits a difference in polarity between its two ends, resulting in a difference in water solubility
third stage of mitosis (and meiosis), during which sister chromatids separate into two new nuclear regions of a dividing cell
consecutive sequence of three nucleotides on a tRNA molecule that is complementary to a specific codon on an mRNA molecule
breakdown of cells by their own enzymatic action
lysosomal breakdown of a cell’s own components
cell cycle
life cycle of a single cell, from its birth until its division into two new daughter cells
cell membrane
membrane surrounding all animal cells, composed of a lipid bilayer interspersed with various molecules; also known as plasma membrane
small, self-replicating organelle that provides the origin for microtubule growth and moves DNA during cell division
region of attachment for two sister chromatids
cellular structure that organizes microtubules during cell division
channel protein
membrane-spanning protein that has an inner pore which allows the passage of one or more substances
progress point in the cell cycle during which certain conditions must be met in order for the cell to proceed to a subsequence phase
substance consisting of DNA and associated proteins
condensed version of chromatin
small appendage on certain cells formed by microtubules and modified for movement of materials across the cellular surface
cleavage furrow
contractile ring that forms around a cell during cytokinesis that pinches the cell into two halves
consecutive sequence of three nucleotides on an mRNA molecule that corresponds to a specific amino acid
concentration gradient
difference in the concentration of a substance between two regions
one of a group of proteins that function in the progression of the cell cycle
cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)
one of a group of enzymes associated with cyclins that help them perform their functions
final stage in cell division, where the cytoplasm divides to form two separate daughter cells
internal material between the cell membrane and nucleus of a cell, mainly consisting of a water-based fluid called cytosol, within which are all the other organelles and cellular solute and suspended materials
“skeleton” of a cell; formed by rod-like proteins that support the cell’s shape and provide, among other functions, locomotive abilities
clear, semi-fluid medium of the cytoplasm, made up mostly of water
movement of a substance from an area of higher concentration to one of lower concentration
condition marked by the presence of a double complement of genetic material (two sets of chromosomes, one set inherited from each of two parents)
DNA polymerase
enzyme that functions in adding new nucleotides to a growing strand of DNA during DNA replication
DNA replication
process of duplicating a molecule of DNA
electrical gradient
difference in the electrical charge (potential) between two regions
import of material into the cell by formation of a membrane-bound vesicle
endoplasmic reticulum (ER)
cellular organelle that consists of interconnected membrane-bound tubules, which may or may not be associated with ribosomes (rough type or smooth type, respectively)
export of a substance out of a cell by formation of a membrane-bound vesicle
one of the coding regions of an mRNA molecule that remain after splicing
extracellular fluid (ECF)
fluid exterior to cells; includes the interstitial fluid, blood plasma, and fluid found in other reservoirs in the body
facilitated diffusion
diffusion of a substance with the aid of a membrane protein
appendage on certain cells formed by microtubules and modified for movement
G0 phase
phase of the cell cycle, usually entered from the G1 phase; characterized by long or permanent periods where the cell does not move forward into the DNA synthesis phase
G1 phase
first phase of the cell cycle, after a new cell is born
G2 phase
third phase of the cell cycle, after the DNA synthesis phase
functional length of DNA that provides the genetic information necessary to build a protein
gene expression
active interpretation of the information coded in a gene to produce a functional gene product
entire complement of an organism’s DNA; found within virtually every cell
coating of sugar molecules that surrounds the cell membrane
protein that has one or more carbohydrates attached
Golgi apparatus
cellular organelle formed by a series of flattened, membrane-bound sacs that functions in protein modification, tagging, packaging, and transport
enzyme that functions to separate the two DNA strands of a double helix during DNA replication
family of proteins that associate with DNA in the nucleus to form chromatin
describes two copies of the same chromosome (not identical), one inherited from each parent
describes a substance or structure attracted to water
describes a substance or structure repelled by water
describes a solution concentration that is higher than a reference concentration
describes a solution concentration that is lower than a reference concentration
integral protein
membrane-associated protein that spans the entire width of the lipid bilayer
intermediate filament
type of cytoskeletal filament made of keratin, characterized by an intermediate thickness, and playing a role in resisting cellular tension
entire life cycle of a cell, excluding mitosis
interstitial fluid (IF)
fluid in the small spaces between cells not contained within blood vessels
intracellular fluid (ICF)
fluid in the cytosol of cells
non-coding regions of a pre-mRNA transcript that may be removed during splicing
describes a solution concentration that is the same as a reference concentration
region of a centromere where microtubules attach to a pair of sister chromatids
molecule that binds with specificity to a specific receptor molecule
membrane-bound cellular organelle originating from the Golgi apparatus and containing digestive enzymes
messenger RNA (mRNA)
nucleotide molecule that serves as an intermediate in the genetic code between DNA and protein
second stage of mitosis (and meiosis), characterized by the linear alignment of sister chromatids in the center of the cell
metaphase plate
linear alignment of sister chromatids in the center of the cell, which takes place during metaphase
the thinnest of the cytoskeletal filaments; composed of actin subunits that function in muscle contraction and cellular structural support
the thickest of the cytoskeletal filaments, composed of tubulin subunits that function in cellular movement and structural support
one of the cellular organelles bound by a double lipid bilayer that function primarily in the production of cellular energy (ATP)
division of genetic material, during which the cell nucleus breaks down and two new, fully functional, nuclei are formed
mitotic phase
phase of the cell cycle in which a cell undergoes mitosis
mitotic spindle
network of microtubules, originating from centrioles, that arranges and pulls apart chromosomes during mitosis
describes the condition of being able to differentiate into different types of cells within a given cell lineage or small number of lineages, such as a red blood cell or white blood cell
change in the nucleotide sequence in a gene within a cell’s DNA
nuclear envelope
membrane that surrounds the nucleus; consisting of a double lipid-bilayer
nuclear pore
one of the small, protein-lined openings found scattered throughout the nuclear envelope
small region of the nucleus that functions in ribosome synthesis
unit of chromatin consisting of a DNA strand wrapped around histone proteins
cell’s central organelle; contains the cell’s DNA
describes the condition of being more specialized than multipotency; the condition of being able to differentiate into one of a few possible cell types
any of several different types of membrane-enclosed specialized structures in the cell that perform specific functions for the cell
diffusion of water molecules down their concentration gradient across a selectively permeable membrane
passive transport
form of transport across the cell membrane that does not require input of cellular energy
peripheral protein
membrane-associated protein that does not span the width of the lipid bilayer, but is attached peripherally to integral proteins, membrane lipids, or other components of the membrane
membrane-bound organelle that contains enzymes primarily responsible for detoxifying harmful substances
endocytosis of large particles
endocytosis of fluid
describes the condition of being able to differentiate into a large variety of cell types
chain of amino acids linked by peptide bonds
simultaneous translation of a single mRNA transcript by multiple ribosomes
region of DNA that signals transcription to begin at that site within the gene
first stage of mitosis (and meiosis), characterized by breakdown of the nuclear envelope and condensing of the chromatin to form chromosomes
full complement of proteins produced by a cell (determined by the cell’s specific gene expression)
reactive oxygen species (ROS)
a group of extremely reactive peroxides and oxygen-containing radicals that may contribute to cellular damage
protein molecule that contains a binding site for another specific molecule (called a ligand)
receptor-mediated endocytosis
endocytosis of ligands attached to membrane-bound receptors
ribosomal RNA (rRNA)
RNA that makes up the subunits of a ribosome
cellular organelle that functions in protein synthesis
RNA polymerase
enzyme that unwinds DNA and then adds new nucleotides to a growing strand of RNA for the transcription phase of protein synthesis
S phase
stage of the cell cycle during which DNA replication occurs
selective permeability
feature of any barrier that allows certain substances to cross but excludes others
sister chromatid
one of a pair of identical chromosomes, formed during DNA replication
sodium-potassium pump
(also, Na+/K+ ATP-ase) membrane-embedded protein pump that uses ATP to move Na+ out of a cell and K+ into the cell
somatic cell
all cells of the body excluding gamete cells
complex of enzymes that serves to splice out the introns of a pre-mRNA transcript
the process of modifying a pre-mRNA transcript by removing certain, typically non-coding, regions
stem cell
cell that is oligo-, multi-, or pleuripotent that has the ability to produce additional stem cells rather than becoming further specialized
final stage of mitosis (and meiosis), preceding cytokinesis, characterized by the formation of two new daughter nuclei
embryonic cells that have the ability to differentiate into any type of cell and organ in the body
process of producing an mRNA molecule that is complementary to a particular gene of DNA
transcription factor
one of the proteins that regulate the transcription of genes
transfer RNA (tRNA)
molecules of RNA that serve to bring amino acids to a growing polypeptide strand and properly place them into the sequence
process of producing a protein from the nucleotide sequence code of an mRNA transcript
consecutive sequence of three nucleotides on a DNA molecule that, when transcribed into an mRNA codon, corresponds to a particular amino acid
describes the condition of being committed to a single specialized cell type
membrane-bound structure that contains materials within or outside of the cell
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Dưới đây là các bài văn nằm ở bên trái. Ở bên phải là các bài luyện tập (practice) để đánh giá khả năng đọc hiểu của bạn. Sẽ khó khăn trong thời gian đầu nếu vốn từ vựng của bạn còn hạn chế, đặc biệt là từ vựng Y khoa. Hãy kiên nhẫn và đọc nhiều nhất có kể, lượng kiến thức tích tụ dần sẽ giúp bạn đọc thoải mái hơn.
Now that you have learned that the cell membrane surrounds all cells, you can dive inside of a prototypical human cell to learn about its internal components and their functions. All living cells in multicellular organisms contain an internal cytoplasmic compartment, and a nucleus within the cytoplasm. Cytosol, the jelly-like substance within the cell, provides the fluid medium necessary for biochemical reactions. Eukaryotic cells, including all animal cells, also contain various cellular organelles. An organelle (“little organ”) is one of several different types of membrane-enclosed bodies in the cell, each performing a unique function. Just as the various bodily organs work together in harmony to perform all of a human’s functions, the many different cellular organelles work together to keep the cell healthy and performing all of its important functions. The organelles and cytosol, taken together, compose the cell’s cytoplasm. The nucleus is a cell’s central organelle, which contains the cell’s DNA (Figure 1).
A set of three major organelles together form a system within the cell called the endomembrane system. These organelles work together to perform various cellular jobs, including the task of producing, packaging, and exporting certain cellular products. The organelles of the endomembrane system include the endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, and vesicles.

A. Endoplasmic Reticulum

The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a system of channels that is continuous with the nuclear membrane (or “envelope”) covering the nucleus and composed of the same lipid bilayer material. The ER can be thought of as a series of winding thoroughfares similar to the waterway canals in Venice. The ER provides passages throughout much of the cell that function in transporting, synthesizing, and storing materials. The winding structure of the ER results in a large membranous surface area that supports its many functions (Figure 2).

Endoplasmic reticulum can exist in two forms: rough ER and smooth ER. These two types of ER perform some very different functions and can be found in very different amounts depending on the type of cell. Rough ER (RER) is so-called because its membrane is dotted with embedded granules—organelles called ribosomes, giving the RER a bumpy appearance. A ribosome is an organelle that serves as the site of protein synthesis. It is composed of two ribosomal RNA subunits that wrap around mRNA to start the process of translation, followed by protein synthesis. Smooth ER (SER) lacks these ribosomes.

One of the main functions of the smooth ER is in the synthesis of lipids. The smooth ER synthesizes phospholipids, the main component of biological membranes, as well as steroid hormones. For this reason, cells that produce large quantities of such hormones, such as those of the female ovaries and male testes, contain large amounts of smooth ER. In addition to lipid synthesis, the smooth ER also sequesters (i.e., stores) and regulates the concentration of cellular Ca++, a function extremely important in cells of the nervous system where Ca++ is the trigger for neurotransmitter release. The smooth ER additionally metabolizes some carbohydrates and performs a detoxification role, breaking down certain toxins.

In contrast with the smooth ER, the primary job of the rough ER is the synthesis and modification of proteins destined for the cell membrane or for export from the cell. For this protein synthesis, many ribosomes attach to the ER (giving it the studded appearance of rough ER). Typically, a protein is synthesized within the ribosome and released inside the channel of the rough ER, where sugars can be added to it (by a process called glycosylation) before it is transported within a vesicle to the next stage in the packaging and shipping process: the Golgi apparatus.

B. The Golgi Apparatus

The Golgi apparatus is responsible for sorting, modifying, and shipping off the products that come from the rough ER, much like a post-office. The Golgi apparatus looks like stacked flattened discs, almost like stacks of oddly shaped pancakes. Like the ER, these discs are membranous. The Golgi apparatus has two distinct sides, each with a different role. One side of the apparatus receives products in vesicles. These products are sorted through the apparatus, and then they are released from the opposite side after being repackaged into new vesicles. If the product is to be exported from the cell, the vesicle migrates to the cell surface and fuses to the cell membrane, and the cargo is secreted (Figure 3).

C. Lysosomes

Some of the protein products packaged by the Golgi include digestive enzymes that are meant to remain inside the cell for use in breaking down certain materials. The enzyme-containing vesicles released by the Golgi may form new lysosomes, or fuse with existing, lysosomes. A lysosome is an organelle that contains enzymes that break down and digest unneeded cellular components, such as a damaged organelle. (A lysosome is similar to a wrecking crew that takes down old and unsound buildings in a neighborhood.) Autophagy (“self-eating”) is the process of a cell digesting its own structures. Lysosomes are also important for breaking down foreign material. For example, when certain immune defense cells (white blood cells) phagocytize bacteria, the bacterial cell is transported into a lysosome and digested by the enzymes inside. As one might imagine, such phagocytic defense cells contain large numbers of lysosomes.

Under certain circumstances, lysosomes perform a more grand and dire function. In the case of damaged or unhealthy cells, lysosomes can be triggered to open up and release their digestive enzymes into the cytoplasm of the cell, killing the cell. This “self-destruct” mechanism is called autolysis, and makes the process of cell death controlled (a mechanism called “apoptosis”).
In addition to the jobs performed by the endomembrane system, the cell has many other important functions. Just as you must consume nutrients to provide yourself with energy, so must each of your cells take in nutrients, some of which convert to chemical energy that can be used to power biochemical reactions. Another important function of the cell is detoxification. Humans take in all sorts of toxins from the environment and also produce harmful chemicals as byproducts of cellular processes. Cells called hepatocytes in the liver detoxify many of these toxins.

A. Mitochondria

A mitochondrion (plural = mitochondria) is a membranous, bean-shaped organelle that is the “energy transformer” of the cell. Mitochondria consist of an outer lipid bilayer membrane as well as an additional inner lipid bilayer membrane (Figure 4). The inner membrane is highly folded into winding structures with a great deal of surface area, called cristae. It is along this inner membrane that a series of proteins, enzymes, and other molecules perform the biochemical reactions of cellular respiration. These reactions convert energy stored in nutrient molecules (such as glucose) into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which provides usable cellular energy to the cell. Cells use ATP constantly, and so the mitochondria are constantly at work. Oxygen molecules are required during cellular respiration, which is why you must constantly breathe it in. One of the organ systems in the body that uses huge amounts of ATP is the muscular system because ATP is required to sustain muscle contraction. As a result, muscle cells are packed full of mitochondria. Nerve cells also need large quantities of ATP to run their sodium-potassium pumps. Therefore, an individual neuron will be loaded with over a thousand mitochondria. On the other hand, a bone cell, which is not nearly as metabolically-active, might only have a couple hundred mitochondria.

B. Peroxisomes

Like lysosomes, a peroxisome is a membrane-bound cellular organelle that contains mostly enzymes (Figure 5). Peroxisomes perform a couple of different functions, including lipid metabolism and chemical detoxification. In contrast to the digestive enzymes found in lysosomes, the enzymes within peroxisomes serve to transfer hydrogen atoms from various molecules to oxygen, producing hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). In this way, peroxisomes neutralize poisons such as alcohol. In order to appreciate the importance of peroxisomes, it is necessary to understand the concept of reactive oxygen species.

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as peroxides and free radicals are the highly reactive products of many normal cellular processes, including the mitochondrial reactions that produce ATP and oxygen metabolism. Examples of ROS include the hydroxyl radical OH, H2O2, and superoxide (O2−). Some ROS are important for certain cellular functions, such as cell signaling processes and immune responses against foreign substances. Free radicals are reactive because they contain free unpaired electrons; they can easily oxidize other molecules throughout the cell, causing cellular damage and even cell death. Free radicals are thought to play a role in many destructive processes in the body, from cancer to coronary artery disease.

Peroxisomes, on the other hand, oversee reactions that neutralize free radicals. Peroxisomes produce large amounts of the toxic H2O2 in the process, but peroxisomes contain enzymes that convert H2O2 into water and oxygen. These byproducts are safely released into the cytoplasm. Like miniature sewage treatment plants, peroxisomes neutralize harmful toxins so that they do not wreak havoc in the cells. The liver is the organ primarily responsible for detoxifying the blood before it travels throughout the body, and liver cells contain an exceptionally high number of peroxisomes.

Defense mechanisms such as detoxification within the peroxisome and certain cellular antioxidants serve to neutralize many of these molecules. Some vitamins and other substances, found primarily in fruits and vegetables, have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants work by being oxidized themselves, halting the destructive reaction cascades initiated by the free radicals. Sometimes though, ROS accumulate beyond the capacity of such defenses.

Oxidative stress is the term used to describe damage to cellular components caused by ROS. Due to their characteristic unpaired electrons, ROS can set off chain reactions where they remove electrons from other molecules, which then become oxidized and reactive, and do the same to other molecules, causing a chain reaction. ROS can cause permanent damage to cellular lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids. Damaged DNA can lead to genetic mutations and even cancer. A mutation is a change in the nucleotide sequence in a gene within a cell’s DNA, potentially altering the protein coded by that gene. Other diseases believed to be triggered or exacerbated by ROS include Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, Huntington’s disease, and schizophrenia, among many others. It is noteworthy that these diseases are largely age-related. Many scientists believe that oxidative stress is a major contributor to the aging process.
Much like the bony skeleton structurally supports the human body, the cytoskeleton helps the cells to maintain their structural integrity. The cytoskeleton is a group of fibrous proteins that provide structural support for cells, but this is only one of the functions of the cytoskeleton. Cytoskeletal components are also critical for cell motility, cell reproduction, and transportation of substances within the cell.

The cytoskeleton forms a complex thread-like network throughout the cell consisting of three different kinds of protein-based filaments: microfilaments, intermediate filaments, and microtubules (Figure 6). The thickest of the three is the microtubule, a structural filament composed of subunits of a protein called tubulin. Microtubules maintain cell shape and structure, help resist compression of the cell, and play a role in positioning the organelles within the cell. Microtubules also make up two types of cellular appendages important for motion: cilia and flagella. Cilia are found on many cells of the body, including the epithelial cells that line the airways of the respiratory system. Cilia move rhythmically; they beat constantly, moving waste materials such as dust, mucus, and bacteria upward through the airways, away from the lungs and toward the mouth. Beating cilia on cells in the female fallopian tubes move egg cells from the ovary towards the uterus. A flagellum (plural = flagella) is an appendage larger than a cilium and specialized for cell locomotion. The only flagellated cell in humans is the sperm cell that must propel itself towards female egg cells.

A very important function of microtubules is to set the paths (somewhat like railroad tracks) along which the genetic material can be pulled (a process requiring ATP) during cell division, so that each new daughter cell receives the appropriate set of chromosomes. Two short, identical microtubule structures called centrioles are found near the nucleus of cells. A centriole can serve as the cellular origin point for microtubules extending outward as cilia or flagella or can assist with the separation of DNA during cell division. Microtubules grow out from the centrioles by adding more tubulin subunits, like adding additional links to a chain.

In contrast with microtubules, the microfilament is a thinner type of cytoskeletal filament (see Figure 6b). Actin, a protein that forms chains, is the primary component of these microfilaments. Actin fibers, twisted chains of actin filaments, constitute a large component of muscle tissue and, along with the protein myosin, are responsible for muscle contraction. Like microtubules, actin filaments are long chains of single subunits (called actin subunits). In muscle cells, these long actin strands, called thin filaments, are “pulled” by thick filaments of the myosin protein to contract the cell.

Actin also has an important role during cell division. When a cell is about to split in half during cell division, actin filaments work with myosin to create a cleavage furrow that eventually splits the cell down the middle, forming two new cells from the original cell.

The final cytoskeletal filament is the intermediate filament. As its name would suggest, an intermediate filament is a filament intermediate in thickness between the microtubules and microfilaments (see Figure 6c). Intermediate filaments are made up of long fibrous subunits of a protein called keratin that are wound together like the threads that compose a rope. Intermediate filaments, in concert with the microtubules, are important for maintaining cell shape and structure. Unlike the microtubules, which resist compression, intermediate filaments resist tension—the forces that pull apart cells. There are many cases in which cells are prone to tension, such as when epithelial cells of the skin are compressed, tugging them in different directions. Intermediate filaments help anchor organelles together within a cell and also link cells to other cells by forming special cell-to-cell junctions.

OpenStax. (2022). Anatomy and Physiology 2e. Rice University. Retrieved June 15, 2023. ISBN-13: 978-1-711494-06-7 (Hardcover) ISBN-13: 978-1-711494-05-0 (Paperback) ISBN-13: 978-1-951693-42-8 (Digital). License: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). Access for free at

While this image is not indicative of any one particular human cell, it is a prototypical example of a cell containing the primary organelles and internal structures.

(a) The ER is a winding network of thin membranous sacs found in close association with the cell nucleus. The smooth and rough endoplasmic reticula are very different in appearance and function (source: mouse tissue). (b) Rough ER is studded with numerous ribosomes, which are sites of protein synthesis (source: mouse tissue). EM × 110,000. (c) Smooth ER synthesizes phospholipids, steroid hormones, regulates the concentration of cellular Ca++, metabolizes some carbohydrates, and breaks down certain toxins (source: mouse tissue). EM × 110,510. (Micrographs provided by the Regents of University of Michigan Medical School © 2012)

(a) The Golgi apparatus manipulates products from the rough ER, and also produces new organelles called lysosomes. Proteins and other products of the ER are sent to the Golgi apparatus, which organizes, modifies, packages, and tags them. Some of these products are transported to other areas of the cell and some are exported from the cell through exocytosis. Enzymatic proteins are packaged as new lysosomes (or packaged and sent for fusion with existing lysosomes). (b) An electron micrograph of the Golgi apparatus.

The mitochondria are the energy-conversion factories of the cell. (a) A mitochondrion is composed of two separate lipid bilayer membranes. Along the inner membrane are various molecules that work together to produce ATP, the cell’s major energy currency. (b) An electron micrograph of mitochondria. EM × 236,000. (Micrograph provided by the Regents of University of Michigan Medical School © 2012)

Peroxisomes are membrane-bound organelles that contain an abundance of enzymes for detoxifying harmful substances and lipid metabolism.

The cytoskeleton consists of (a) microtubules, (b) microfilaments, and (c) intermediate filaments. The cytoskeleton plays an important role in maintaining cell shape and structure, promoting cellular movement, and aiding cell division.

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  1. The internal environmental of a living cell is made up of a fluid, jelly-like substance called cytosol.
  2. The cytosol consists mainly of water, but also contains various dissolved nutrients and other molecules.
  3. The cell contains an array of cellular organelles, each one performing a unique function and helping to maintain the health and activity of the cell.
  4. The cytosol and organelles together compose the cell’s cytoplasm.
  5. Most organelles are surrounded by a lipid membrane similar to the cell membrane of the cell.
  6. The endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, and lysosomes share a functional connectivity and are collectively referred to as the endomembrane system.
  7. There are two types of endoplasmic reticulum: smooth and rough.
  8. The smooth endoplasmic reticulum performs many functions, including lipid synthesis and ion storage.
  9. On the other hand, the rough endoplasmic reticulum is mainly responsible for protein synthesis using its associated ribosomes.
  10. The rough endoplasmic reticulum sends newly made proteins to the Golgi apparatus where they are modified and packaged for delivery to various locations within or outside of the cell.
  11. Some of these protein products are enzymes destined to break down unwanted material and are packaged as lysosomes for use inside the cell.
  12. Cells also contain mitochondria and peroxisomes, which are the organelles responsible for producing the cell’s energy supply and detoxifying certain chemicals, respectively.
  13. Biochemical reactions within mitochondria transform energy-carrying molecules into the usable form of cellular energy known as ATP.
  14. Peroxisomes contain enzymes that transform harmful substances such as free radicals into oxygen and water.
  15. Cells also contain a miniaturized “skeleton” of protein filaments that extend throughout its interior.
  16. Three different kinds of filaments compose this cytoskeleton.
  17. In order of increasing thickness, they are microfilaments, intermediate filaments, and microtubules.
  18. Each cytoskeletal component performs unique functions as well as provides a supportive framework for the cell.
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