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Cytoplasm

Cytoplasm

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

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Tutorial

What's Covered

Welcome to today’s lesson on Cytoplasm. In this lesson today, you are going to learn about the cytoplasm of a cell and discuss 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 as well. 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 made up mostly 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 sort of like a cushion for the organelles. There are several different ions and proteins dissolved in it 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 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 kind of some of the same roles. It helps it to maintain its shape and support the cell as a whole.

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

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. So this is what a microtubule might look like in a cytoskeleton.

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 add strength, allowing the cytoskeleton to be more strong. They also help to anchor actin and myosin, which are an important part of muscle contractions.

Summary


So this lesson has been an overview on the structure and function of the cytoplasm, as well as an introduction into 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

  • Cytosol

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

  • Cytoskeleton

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