Online College Courses for Credit

+
Cytoplasm

Cytoplasm

Author: Sophia Tutorial
Description:

This lesson will describe the structure and function of the cytoplasm of a cell.

(more)
See More
Fast, Free College Credit

Developing Effective Teams

Let's Ride
*No strings attached. This college course is 100% free and is worth 1 semester credit.

29 Sophia partners guarantee credit transfer.

314 Institutions have accepted or given pre-approval for credit transfer.

* The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE Credit®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for 26 of Sophia’s online courses. Many different colleges and universities consider ACE CREDIT recommendations in determining the applicability to their course and degree programs.

Tutorial

What's Covered

In this lesson, you are going to learn about the cytoplasm of a cell, and its structure and function within the cell. Specifically, you will learn about:

  1. Cytoplasm
  2. Cytosol
  3. Cytoskeleton

1. Cytoplasm

The cytoplasm is the part of the cell that fills the space between the plasma membrane and the nucleus. The plasma membrane is on the outside of the cell, and the nucleus in the middle or inside of the cell. The cytoplasm is everything that fills that space between the plasma membrane and the nucleus, including all of the organelles. When you hear about the cytoplasm, that describes everything within the cell except for the nucleus.

Term to Know

Cytoplasm

The jellylike fluid that supports the contents of the cell - found between the plasma membrane and the nuclear envelope

Below is a picture of a cell for reference.


2. Cytosol

The jelly-like fluid that fills the inside of the cell as part of the cytoplasm is called the cytosol. The cytoplasm is mostly made up of water, and many chemical reactions and processes occur within it. It has a very important role in the cell in order to contain all of those organelles; it acts as a sort of cushion for the organelles. There are several different ions and proteins dissolved in the cytoplasm that help in chemical reactions. Many of these reactions and processes will actually take place within the cytoplasm.

Term to Know

Cytosol

The liquid found inside the cytoplasm that is mostly composed of water


3. Cytoskeleton

The cytoplasm also contains all of the cell organelles, including the cytoskeleton. The cytoskeleton is a part of the cell contained in the cytoplasm that acts as the structure and support for the cell.

Term to Know

Cytoskeleton

The protein structure that provides support to the cell - much like the bony skeleton supports the human body

Example Think of your skeleton, for example, and the role that your skeleton plays. It acts to support your body and give your body structure. This is similar to the cytoskeleton of a cell; it has some of the same roles. It helps the cell to maintain its shape, and it supports the cell as a whole.

The cytoskeleton is composed of three different parts. Below is an image to refer to when learning about these parts.

The three different parts of the cytoskeleton are:

1. The microtubules

The microtubules are the largest parts of the cytoskeleton. They move cell parts, and they help to organize the cell.

2. The microfilaments

Microfilaments act to reinforce parts of the cell, and they also help to anchor membrane proteins.

3. The intermediate filaments.

The intermediate filaments help to strengthen the cytoskeleton. They also help to anchor actin and myosin, which are an important part of muscle contractions.

Summary


This lesson has been an overview of the structure and function of the cytoplasm, as well as an introduction to the structure and function of the cytoskeleton. You also learned about cytosol, and that the three parts of the cytoskeleton are microfilaments, intermediate filaments, and microtubules.

Keep up the learning and have a great day!

Source: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR AMANDA SODERLIND

Terms to Know
Cytoplasm

The jellylike fluid that supports the contents of the cell - found between the plasma membrane and the nuclear envelope

Cytoskeleton

The protein structure that provides support to the cell - much like the bony skeleton supports the human body

Cytosol

The liquid found inside the cytoplasm that is mostly composed of water